2004-08-12

Wild Sunset Cloud Pics


Photoblog of the pictures


During the summer, it is not unusual for storm clouds to come over the mountain in the late afternoon. This week there was some spectacular looking clouds at sunset.

On Monday, near sunset, the sky was filled with different clouds, and the sky went from a dark pink to a wild purple.

On Tuesday, the weather was even wilder. All of a sudden the wind picked up very strongly and there was hail and rain. I went around the house, looking out different windows. I saw up to 2 inch hail. Considering the wind and hail, I scanned in all directions for funnel clouds. Eventually, I noticed the weather radio flashing red, and displaying a thunderstorm warning message. I turned on the radio, and it warned of rotation, and that rotation had been spotted in my section of town. Rotation is a precursor to a tornado. And considering how the clouds looked and the sudden speed of the wind, I wasn't surprised.

After a short while, the hail stopped. I went outside and took pictures. The clouds and the sky just seemed so amazing. You could see how high the sky went. The special effects from the storm beat out the special effects from 'The Day After' which I had just seen this past weekend.
There were these high, white, fluffy clouds. But they weren't your normal fluffy clouds. They were big and round, like rows and rows of gigantic fingers.
Then in the middle, there were these dark, edgy clouds. The dark clouds went off to the south and looked even darker to the south. To the north was somewhat clear and blue. The upper two layers of clouds were moving steadily east. To the east, the clouds became a wall of darkness, where you could see some rain, and occasional bolts of lightning to the ground. Above me I could hear an almost regular, but distant growl of thunder, but no sign of lightning.
And then low down there were clouds too. Small wispy clouds. They were whipping along very quickly, not far about the houses. And they were headed west: the opposite direction of the clouds above. While taking pictures, I kept watching for funnel clouds.
I noticed that as the wind would gust west at the ground level, the clouds above would seem to roil. A few times it looked like the middle-level clouds started to curl in a half turn during the roilings. I could just imagine one of those curls continuing and becoming a funnel.
But we were spared any tornados by us. There was a small one about 50 miles south, but no real damages. By a rule of thumb, we are too close to the mountains to get a real tornado where we live. But tornados don't always follow the rule of thumb. We did get a lot of spectacular clouds and colors. While I think my pictures came out pretty darn well of the clouds, they just don't do justice to what I saw. I hope you enjoy what I was able to capture with my pictures.

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