Hot July Day Storm Cell

Saturday, July 25, 2015



On a day in which the NWS in the Quad Cities issued a heat index advisory, the sandpit volleyball tournament at the Oakland Church of the Nazarene in Cedar Rapids went on as scheduled Saturday afternoon, July 25, 2015. With temperatures at 87 degrees, dew point at 74 degrees and 65% humidity, isolated storm cells began popping up in Eastern Iowa. The storm cell seen above in the southeast sky during a timeout in volleyball play was located some 47 miles distant in Muscatine County, about ten miles west of Muscatine, Iowa.

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(Fair)ly Gorgeous Sky

Monday, July 20, 2015


The setting sun behind light rain clouds produced this brilliant pinkish-orange sky as seen from an outdoor Matt Maher concert on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. The concert was one of several performing at the Delaware County Fair near Manchester, Iowa. Photo was captured at 8:41 pm using my iPhone 6-plus camera.

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Out Of The Blue

Friday, July 17, 2015



Virtually the only activity in the state of Iowa at the time, this storm cell was definitely an isolated one. Though not severe-warned, echo tops were reaching around 40,000 feet and catching the rising sun. Both images above look north at 6:15 am CDT on Friday, July 17, 2015 from N. 15th Avenue in Hiawatha, Iowa. The storm was located about 45 miles away, in southeast Fayette County, just east of Oelwein, and moving in an easterly direction. iPhone 6-plus camera.

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AM, PM Storm Cells

Tuesday, July 14, 2015



An SPC "Enhanced Risk" posted for much of Eastern Iowa for the afternoon/evening/overnight of Sunday, July 12, 2015 produced nary a droplet of rain for the Cedar Rapids metro area. A "cry wolf" syndrome seemed to be in place when the storm cell seen at top began drifting southeastward from Minnesota into Eastern Iowa (radar images above) around 5:00 am on Monday, July 13. As it drew nearer to Cedar Rapids the cell displayed itself in a spectacular manner--an anvil skirted with
a shelf cloud. The top image shows this storm and is a six-image stitch captured by my iPhone 6-plus
camera. Photomerging was done in Adobe Bridge. The image looks north from North 15th Avenue in Hiawatha, Iowa at 6:20 am. The cell was at this moment located about 40 miles to the northeast in north central Delaware County. Echo tops were reaching around 50,000 feet.




The day was not done. Temperatures in the low 90s, dew points in the upper 70s and humidities in the mid-60s made conditions ripe for redevelopment. Cumulonimbus towers began to erupt northeast of Cedar Rapids after 3:30 pm (radar images above), creating the classic mushroom clouds from strong updrafts. The two images above show an older cumulonimbus in the background and a new and growing tower in the foreground. Nikon D5000 DSLR camera looks east along Boyson Road at the border of Cedar Rapids and Marion, Iowa. Top image captured at 4:46 pm and middle at 4:50. The most intense part of this storm was located about 40-45 miles away in western Clinton County. Echo tops were spiking to around 55,000 feet. By 7:00 pm this severe-warned cell was 110 miles away in Stark County, Illinois, southeast of Kewanee, in the territory of an SPC "Moderate Risk."

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Ground Smoke Effects

Tuesday, July 7, 2015



Canadian wildfires continue to influence sky brilliance and even air pollution in Iowa. The two images above show sunrise at 6:14 am on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, as seen from Boyson Road, just west of Interstate 380 in Hiawatha. Smoke from the wildfires was borne by a northern cold front and actually pushed it toward the ground, making its odor noticeable and resulting in low air quality advisories. iPhone 6-plus camera.

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Rockets Red Glare

Sunday, July 5, 2015




These Independence Day fireworks images, looking north from First Street SW, between Second and Third avenues in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, capture some of the scenes of the event held on Saturday, July 4, 2015. The top image is a three-image stack shot at 10:02 pm CDT. The middle image was shot at 10:06 pm and the bottom (a two-image stack) at 10:04 pm. This popular annual event began at 9:45 pm and lasted for about a half hour. Nikon D5000 DSLR camera.

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More Augmented Sunsets

Friday, July 3, 2015


Canadian wildfires far to the north continued to enhance sunsets in Iowa on the evening of Friday,
July 3, 2015. The scene above looks northwest from Arabian Road, less than a mile southwest of the town of Alburnett at 8:19 pm CDT.


This view looks toward the same direction at 8:24 pm along Alburnett Road, about 2.13 miles north of County Home Road, north of Marion, Iowa. Nikon D5000 DSLR camera.

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