Tag Archives: weather

Downtown LA in the Gloom

Work took me to Los Angeles a couple of times early in 2024.  On neither occasion did the weather do me many favors.  The second trip was very wet but the first was more gloomy than anything else.  As I was walking back to the hotel one evening after we had finished our work, I was taken by the way in which the skyscrapers were disappearing into the mist.  I only had my phone with me, but it does a decent job in lower light conditions.

Wind Damage in Juanita Bay Park

We had some pretty stormy weather come through the Seattle area at the end of 2022.  When I took a walk through the park at Juanita, I drove past a tree hanging over one lane of the road.  Once I got to the park, there were trees down in places.  Even the parking lot was showing that it had been breezy with debris scattered across the road surface.  They cleaned things up pretty quickly but it had obviously been rather blowy.

Comparison of Cloud Formation and Development

I may be stuck in the house during work hours but the view out of the window doesn’t have to be totally ignored.  We have had a bunch of changeable weather recently and I have been shooting time lapses of the clouds.  The M6 works well for this but I have been using my fisheye lens on the M adaptor to get a wide view of what is going on out there.  It has proved to be interesting as a review the footage later.  Some of the skies have lots of activity while others don’t.

Sometimes we get the winds pulling the clouds across the sky but the overcast is thick and the lack of heat on the ground means that the clouds are pretty stable.  On other days we get almost constant development and dissipation of the clouds.  We are on a hill so we can get quite localized development around us.  Sometimes you have lower level clouds going one way and higher level clouds heading somewhere else.

I put together a video that includes a variety of clips from these time lapses to show how different things can be on different days (or even at different times of the same day!).

Stormy Chicago Sky Revisited

Living in the Midwest provided plenty of stormy weather days.  The way in which the storms could brew up on warm afternoons was really impressive.  I have always loved lightning and sometimes we got so much of it, you would stop paying attention.  One afternoon, there was a storm forecast to roll across the city.  I decided to head out to the planetarium since it has a great view of the city and I was hoping for lightning behind the skyline or maybe even on some of the high buildings.  I am not sure whether it is a thing but it seemed like the lightning would be more prevalent at the leading and trailing edges of the storm so I was hoping to get shots before the rain made it no fun to be outside.

Things didn’t work out quite as planned and there wasn’t the lightning I was hoping for.  However, I did get some amazing cloud formations rolling across the city.  Watching this come towards me, it was hard to recognize that this wasn’t some CGI on a movie but was actually heading my way.  It looked amazing.  It wasn’t long before I retreated to the car once the rain showed up.

On another occasion, I was flying in to Midway.  As we made the turn back towards the city after flying out over Lake Michigan, a really intense storm cell was sitting north of the city.  It came into view as we turned and I videoed it with my phone.  It was another beast of a storm, and it was probably rather damp underneath it.

Driving Across The Hills In The Snow

Our trip to Cannon Beach got delayed a day by snow on the hills which you have to cross to get to the Oregon coastline.  When we did make the crossing, not only were we properly equipped (as shall be seen in another post) but the weather was transformed.  The sun was out, and it looked picturesque.  The snow was still heavy on the trees and the hillsides while the road was compacted snow.  Consequently, it was white everywhere.  We were on a major road that would normally be traversed at speed but, due to the traction devices fitted, we were limited to 25mph.  It made the crossing pretty protracted, but it did provide ample time to look around and see the scenery – and the occasional vehicle off the road!

Stormy Arrivals and Go-Arounds

My trip to get the G600 on a rainy Saturday meant a little time to shoot some of the other arrivals.  The conditions were incredibly variable.  It was hammering down at some points and then sunny for a little while before raining again.  I shot a few jets twice as they got to the threshold before going around and having a second go at it.  The Alaska Cargo 737-700BCF was a lot better the second time.

One of the jets broke off the approach before it even got too close.  Looks like the crews were earning their checks that day.  As an aside, I had a tree fall a short distance from me while I was shooting these arrivals.  There was a loud cracking noise and then the tree gently fell to the ground.  First time I have seen that.

Rainbows Over Paine Field

A cloudy/rainy day in the Northwest can also coincide with a nicer evening.  This can bring some nice dark and stormy backgrounds for shots of planes with good light.  It does also mean that the background can have rain falling when the sun is out and that means rainbows.  The rain at Everett was a bit localized so we didn’t get a full rainbow.  Instead, I could see the two ends at the ground but no rainbow in between.  However, the one end was sitting right over Boeing’s ramp and it looked rather appealing.  Not sure whether the KC-46 at the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold, though.

Misty Morning In Index

During my time off, we made a trip across the Cascades.  It’s not uncommon to find it misty/foggy as we drive from home towards the mountains in the morning.  As you get a little higher, you come out of the mist but the clouds will still be hanging on the sides of the mountains.  We stopped off in the little town of Index for a quick break.  The town sits right under some large cliff faces making it a popular place to climb.

On this morning, climbing would have been a bit of a cold and damp affair but, as the day wore on, it would have been lovely I imagine.  I liked the morning, though, with the clouds swirling around the hillsides.  It looks at first as if the area is still with the mist hanging over everything but, if you pay attention, it is clear just how much the clouds are swirling around with ever changing areas exposed or covered.  It is quite entrancing.

Low Rainbow for Winter

The weather may have been highly variable for my visit to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, this did have a side benefit.  Lots of rain followed by sudden sun means a good chance of a rainbow.  That is exactly what we got.  The rainbow was very wide and flat which I assume is a function of the sun angle at this time of year.  It looked pretty unusual and very cool so I figured I would share it here!

Ferries in the Mist

The misty mornings at Orcas were not only pretty atmospheric to wake up to but they also could make for interesting shots of the ferries.  As the banks of fog rolled in and out, the boats could disappear and reappear.  As they backed out and spun around, they could be right on the edge of disappearing.  Since we were facing south, the whole scene was backlit which made it look even more interesting.