Monday, December 27, 2010
A tree, backlit by a street light on Brentwood Drive NE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, illuminates the frost fog accumulated on it around 6:45 AM, Monday, December 27, 2010. The frosty coating rendered all exposed surfaces Monday morning into a veritable fantasy land. Temperatures at this time hovered around 9 degrees F.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
An aircraft path and its contrail (left) glows ghostly in the eastern sky of Marion, Iowa around 6:30 PM, December 22, 2010. A couple minutes earlier a faint meteor left a barely visible contrail in the same part of the sky. The reason for the illuminated contrails in this dark sky was the fact that a nearly full moon was just minutes away from peeking over the northeast horizon. The foreground is a former soybean field in the process of conversion to a housing development. The contrail at left is in the constellation Gemini. Low on the horizon at center is Orion and above Orion is Taurus. This is a 28-second exposure at f/5, 18mm focal length and 400 ISO.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Our son Ryan Alliss, a meteorology major at Iowa State University, conducted his senior thesis presentation at Agronomy Hall on the campus of ISU on Monday morning, December 6, 2010. The presentation was part of the 18th Annual Iowa State University Atmospheric Science Undergraduate Research Symposium. Ryan is shown in the larger photo explaining his research of CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy)--a meteorological term for energy that is released when water condenses--to professors, peers and family members in attendance. His thesis was titled Quasi-Linear Convective System Mesovorticies, and counted for about 10% of his total meteorology grade. Less than two weeks later he received his Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology during graduation ceremonies (inset photo) at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa on Friday evening, December 17. Congratulations, Ryan! We are all very proud of you!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Clouds had prohibited a view of the lunar eclipse over Cedar Rapids, Iowa around 2:00 AM on this day, December 21, 2010, but this striking view of altocumulus undulatus clouds reflected by the setting sun around 4:12 PM sparkled the southwest sky as seen from Bowman Woods Park. The view was brief as skies became overcast minutes later. The winter solstice arrived shortly afterward at 5:38 PM CST. Air temperature was 25 degrees F.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Braving the intense cold and a sleepy early morning rising, I captured these two meteor streaks, part of the Geminid meteor shower which peaked on Tuesday, December 14, 2010. This view looks SW over Bowman Woods Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a composite image, with the upper meteor streak and the background shot at 4:25 AM and the lower meteor streak shot at 4:45 AM. The streaks are passing through the constellation Taurus (right, lower) after emanating from the radiant point in Gemini (upper, center). The bright star between the trees at lower left is Betelgeuse in Orion, and the bright star at upper right is Capella in Auriga. The air temperature during this photo session was -3 degrees F. Less than two hours later, the sky clouded over. This was a 21 second exposure at f/3.5, focal length of 18mm and an ISO rating of 1250.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
A solitary tree stands in an open space against snowfall from a flat gray sky near a nature trail at Boyson Park in Marion, Iowa near its border with Cedar Rapids. The snow event preceded by about eight hours a blizzard that eventually added another 1.5-2 inches of snow and was accompanied by high wind and low temperatures.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Light snow was falling along the nature trail near Boyson Park in Marion, Iowa around 1:20 PM, Saturday, December 11, 2010. More snow and high winds from the back side of a large low pressure system arrived overnight, dropping an additional 1.5-2 inches of snow and packing 30-40 mph winds in the Cedar Rapids/Marion area, prompting cancellations and postponements. This view looks east.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Low level clouds fan out over a snowy landscape near Marion, Iowa around 4:35 PM, Tuesday, December 7, 2010. Leading off into the background at right is East Robins Road. The clouds prevented a desired view of the planet Mercury, low on the SW horizon, at sunset. This photo, looking west, was taken near the Christ Community United Methodist Church on Alburnett Road in Marion. The air temperature was 15 degrees F.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Denuded trees form dark silhouettes in front of a winter sky Monday afternoon around 1:10 PM on December 6, 2010 at White Oak Cemetery in Central Iowa. The location is about 1.5 miles east of Interstate 35 and 3 miles northwest of Elkhart, Iowa. Weather conditions on this day produced intermittent snow flurries. The unincorporated town of White Oak is renowned for its winery and vineyards.
Friday, December 3, 2010
A waning crescent moon and the planet Venus (top) rise in the morning sky at 6:25 AM on Friday, December 3, 2010. Venus was just one day away from its greatest visual magnitude (-4.9) since February, 2006, but the clouds and snow that moved into the Cedar Rapids, Iowa metro area later on this day would prevent any Saturday morning viewing. This image was captured with a 1.3-second exposure at f/8, an ISO rating of 1000 and a focal length of 48mm. The air temperature at this time was 14 degrees F.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I was hoping to view Mercury and Mars through the clouds at sunset on Thursday, December 2, 2010. I never caught the planets but captured this flock of Canada geese flying past in V-formation. Yes, the geese are heading north, not south. The sun is setting here at 4:30 PM behind Newcastle Road in Marion, Iowa.