Dusting The Creekside

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dry Run Creek in Boyson Park, near the Marion and Cedar Rapids, Iowa boundary, was the setting for these three images. All three look west. Snow had been falling for nearly a half-hour and was beginning to dust solid objects surrounding the creek. When the snow system had exited the next day, some seven inches fell here. Capture times: Bottom image, 4:03 pm CST, Friday, November 20, 2015; Middle image, 4:06 pm; and top image, 4:07 pm. Nikon D5000 DSLR camera.


Before The Snow Flew…And During

Monday, November 23, 2015

This image, a two-photo stitch, looks north from Alburnett Road, about .8-mile north of County Home Road, and north of Marion, Iowa at 3:26 pm, Friday, November 20, 2015. Miniature flakes of snow had just begun to filter downward as the first significant snowstorm of the season approached.

32 minutes later, this was the scene at Boyson Park near the border of Marion and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Heavier snow was now falling, and when the system vacated the area the next morning, some 7 inches of snow had covered the ground. Air temperature for the top image was 33 degrees F. By 10:50 pm the following day (November 21), air temperature was 7 degrees F. Nikon D5000 DSLR camera.


November Severe Weather

Thursday, November 12, 2015

With the SPC forecasting severe weather potential for southern Iowa and northern Missouri two days in advance, storm initiation finally began in western Iowa before noon on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. Tornado Watch 535 was issued for much of eastern Iowa at 3:20 pm CST. A mix of strong CAPE, wind shear and warm air contributed to this unusual November severe event. The above image looks west at an advancing line of severe storms at 4:54 pm from Nutmeg Avenue at 220th Street (County Road G36), one mile east of Highway 1 in central Washington County, Iowa.

As the storm passed overhead, torrents of blinding rain made driving on 220th Street extremely difficult. We witnessed an SUV drive slowly off the road and into the ditch to the left, miraculously recover and pull back up to the road surface, only to slowly go off and into the ditch at right. A small parking oasis just before Highway 1 allowed us to pull into it to wait out the rain and hail. I could not see the hail clearly in the dark, but judging by the impacts on our vehicle estimated it to be penny size. The middle image--a video frame capture--shows a parked dump truck at 5:02 pm, which served as sort of a directional beacon which drew us to the safety of the fortuitous parking area.

This radar image graphic shows our position near the time of the middle image. Small hail cores can be seen in the area, colored in lavender. The early darkness of November made photographing the storm a challenge. Nikon D5000 DSLR camera.


Growing Glow In The East

Monday, November 9, 2015

An ever-increasing glow in the eastern sky is seen here at 6:18 am CST, Monday, November 9, 2015, from Progress Drive in Hiawatha, Iowa. This image was captured a half-hour before sunrise and features a waning crescent moon. Air temperature was a crisp 43 degrees F. iPhone 6 Plus camera.


A Little More Than Expected

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Earlier forecasts for Tuesday afternoon, October 20, 2015 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa called for "light showers possible." A little more than that occurred. Fast moving, but prolonged thundershowers/thunderstorms dropped around a half inch of rain in some places and was accompanied by high winds and vivid lightning shows. Hastily revised forecasts even called for "pea size" hail possibilities, but none were encountered here. The unexpected weather system provided much needed moisture for the area, which was under a fire hazard advisory the previous day due to very dry conditions and wind. This image, a two-photo stitch, looks northwest toward Bowman Woods Park around 6:30 pm CDT. Air temperature was 60 degrees F. Nikon D5000 DSLR camera.


Morning Roll Call

Monday, October 12, 2015

Rising before dawn on Saturday mornings isn't necessarily common practice for most folks, but the clear skies and a rare celestial conjunction made it more than worth the while on October 10, 2015.
Lining up in an arc from ground up were four planets and a thin crescent moon. Both these images look east from White Road, about a half-mile east of North Alburnett Road, and about three miles north of Marion, Iowa. A family dog from a nearby farmstead did not care for my presence and barked into the darkness nearly the entire time I was there. The above image, shot at 6:15 am CDT, is a 3-second exposure at f/5.6, 500 ISO and 22mm focal length.

This image, captured five minutes later, is a closeup view of the lineup, which includes from bottom left to top right: the planet Mercury (magnitude 0.54), the moon, Jupiter (-1.74), Mars (1.76) and Venus (-4.47). It is a 4-second exposure at f/8, 1600 ISO and 35mm focal length. A chilly air temperature of 41 degees F made for numb fingers! Nikon D5000 DSLR camera.


Dome Cap

Monday, October 5, 2015

Stratus clouds squeeze the sky ceiling down to mountain tops as seen from the observation tower at Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the afternoon of Thursday, September 17, 2015. In the views looking southwest above, the elevated walkway leading to the observation tower can be seen in the foreground. The top image was captured at 2:53 pm EDT, and the image directly above earlier at 2:34 pm.

This view, looking toward the northeast, shows the approach to the observation tower platform which affords a 360-degree vista of Appalachian Mountains. 2:56 pm. Half of the platform is claimed by the state of Tennessee and the other half by North Carolina. Altitude at the platform in 6,675 feet. Nikon D5000 DSLR camera.


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