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Amazing Weather Photographs: Part 2

By: Christopher C. Burt, 9:32 PM GMT on April 26, 2013

Amazing Weather Photographs: Part 2

Weather news is a little slow this Friday so I thought I would I would post another selection (this time 10) of amazing weather-related photographs. This is sort of a follow up to a popular blog I posted on this same subject last October. Some of the images were taken by professionals and others just a lucky snap shot. They are arranged in no particular order.





As we head into the heart of the (so far lackluster) tornado season, I thought I would show a couple of interesting tornado images. Professional weather photographer Mike Hollingshead took the one above in southwestern South Dakota on June 7, 2005. The image, aside from being gorgeous, is particularly interesting in that it shows a large portion of the supporting cloud structure. A university meteorology professor could devote an entire lecture discussing this image. Photo by Mike Hollingshead. For more of Mike’s amazing tornado images, one of which was featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine last September, see his web site.






“I do..” Now let’s have the reception in the storm shelter. A couple of wedding crashers make for a fine backdrop at this event in Kansas on May 19, 2012. Fortunately, the uninvited guests kept their distance. Photo by Cate Elmey, Witness Weather.





One more tornado shot. This, of course, is a waterspout but one of such size and intensity that it was almost certainly of tornadic proportions unlike the vast majority of waterspouts. A U.K. Royal Air Force aircraft took the photo somewhere over the Atlantic on an undetermined date sometime in the 1950s or 1960s. Unfortunately, little is known about the image. It appeared in Frank Lane’s classic book “The Elements Rage” which was published in 1965. Photo from Royal Air Force archives.





This photo was most likely shot from a lakefront condominium along Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive. It is obviously a time-lapse as can be seen by the traffic streaks along the highway. The image has appeared on several web sites including the Huffington Post, but I am unable to identify either the photographer or when it was taken. Some have commented it is a Photoshop job, but I doubt that. It would be very difficult to create the reflection of the lightning strokes on Lake Michigan’s choppy waters. Photographer not identified.





Another amazing waterfront image. This time of wind-blown sea fog enveloping tall condominiums at Panama City, Florida on February 5, 2012. You’ve probably seen this image before, but I believe it is unique. I can’t recall ever seeing a photo quite like it. Photo by pilot JR Hott, Panhandle Helicopters.





Flash flooding during the summer monsoon season (June-August) temporarily creates what is known as ‘The Little Colorado River’s Grand Falls’ at a location in the Painted Desert north of Winona, Arizona. These cliffs are 200 feet high. Photo by Tom Brownold.





While I’m on the subject of the desert Southwest I must include this spectacular sunset dust storm that is engulfing the city of Alamogordo, New Mexico on the evening of June 15, 2012. Photo by ‘The Bruenns’ uploaded to wunderground.com





Now for something completely different. In late January, 2009 a severe ice storm crippled portions of southern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas with 1-2” thick accumulations. This image was taken in Springdale, Arkansas by super shooter Mike Hollingshead. Photo by Mike Hollingshead. For more of Mike’s winter storm imagery see his web site extremeinstability.com





Perhaps the greatest snow accumulations on earth occur at the mid-elevations along the western spine of Japanese Alps on Honshu Island. In February 1927 a site on Mt. Ibuki measured a world-record level depth of 1182 cm (465.4”) almost 39 feet. So much snow falls here that it is a tourist attraction in its own right. A highway that crosses the mountains is kept open and plowed all winter and at one stretch, known as the Yoki-no-otani snow canyon, the accumulations reach their greatest. It would appear in the image above that the snow is about 20-30’ deep. Photographer not identified.





As you may have noticed, Mike Hollingshead is my favorite weather photographer. One of the things he does so well is to not just photograph extreme weather but also place it in human contexts as was the case in the image above. He was chasing a storm near Watertown, South Dakota last summer (on August 3, 2012) when he had the presence of mind to stop by this small roadside chapel and place it in the foreground of the intense squall line approaching. All in all, a quintessential American Prairie scene. Photo by Mike Hollingshead. Follow this shoot on his web site here.



That’s all for today. I know this selection is not quite as interesting as the one I posted last October, but that is why those were called the “Top 12 Most Unusual”. I won’t make a top-anything claim about this set, just ten great and/or interesting weather images.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Photography Extreme Weather

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

A nice collection of weather photos .. pays to have a camera on the ready .. amazing displays by Mother Nature !!
perhaps a dull day 4/26 weatherwise but a 200 degree world temperature range from antarctica to chad. wonder what the max world daily range must be. perhaps the day Vostok station in antarctica recorded the world low temperature record.
Your picture selections are amazing!  I've seen a few of them before but not most.  Wow!


rod2635 a global daily temperature extremes range of 200 F or more is typical during the Antarctic fall and winter.  The range will grow as Vostok falls to -100 and lower while temperatures above 115 are recorded in the deserts of North America, Africa and Asia.
Wonderful collection of weather images! Glad Mr. Hollingshead and so many others have such amazing talent!!! Thanks!!
Quoting rod2635:
perhaps a dull day 4/26 weatherwise but a 200 degree world temperature range from antarctica to chad. wonder what the max world daily range must be. perhaps the day Vostok station in antarctica recorded the world low temperature record.


That's an interesting question! On most days in July there will be some place (usually Death Valley) that will record a 120F temp and some Antarctica site (like Vostok) at least reaching -100F, so a typical global spread of 220F during a typical July day. Since we only have daily temp data for Antarctica since 1958, one would have to look for some day since then to find what the single greatest daily range might have been. My best guess would be that to be somewhere around 240-250F as the possible single-day greatest spread. We have four times Death Valley hit 129 since 1960 and I'll bet on one of those occasions it was -110 to -120 at some site in Antarctica. The all-time global range (for anywhere on earth any day or month) is, of course from 134 in Death Valley (back on July 10, 1913) and -129 (actually -128.6) at Vostok on July 21, 1983. So a spread of 263.
Awesome pix!! Thanks!!
These pictures are amazing! Thank you very much for sharing them!
Quoting weatherhistorian:


That's an interesting question! On most days in July there will be some place (usually Death Valley) that will record a 120�F temp and some Antarctica site (like Vostok) at least reaching -100�F, so a typical global spread of 220�F during a typical July day. Since we only have daily temp data for Antarctica since 1958, one would have to look for some day since then to find what the single greatest daily range might have been. My best guess would be that to be somewhere around 240�-250�F as the possible single-day greatest spread. We have four times Death Valley hit 129� since 1960 and I'll bet on one of those occasions it was -110� to -120� at some site in Antarctica. The all-time global range (for anywhere on earth any day or month) is, of course from 134� in Death Valley (back on July 10, 1913) and -129� (actually -128.6�) at Vostok on July 21, 1983. So a spread of 263�.
Quoting weatherhistorian:


That's an interesting question! On most days in July there will be some place (usually Death Valley) that will record a 120�F temp and some Antarctica site (like Vostok) at least reaching -100�F, so a typical global spread of 220�F during a typical July day. Since we only have daily temp data for Antarctica since 1958, one would have to look for some day since then to find what the single greatest daily range might have been. My best guess would be that to be somewhere around 240�-250�F as the possible single-day greatest spread. We have four times Death Valley hit 129� since 1960 and I'll bet on one of those occasions it was -110� to -120� at some site in Antarctica. The all-time global range (for anywhere on earth any day or month) is, of course from 134� in Death Valley (back on July 10, 1913) and -129� (actually -128.6�) at Vostok on July 21, 1983. So a spread of 263�.


Well, since that 100% false, ridicolous 134F which is reality it was 118F (Greenland Ranch data until 30s is the worst data in the world, 100 times worse than Al Azizia), the greatest spread was recorded twice with 139.0C Celsius:

20 august 1992 diff 139.0 Death Valley 51.1 Vostok -87.9
20 July 1983 diff 139.0 Kuwait AP 50.2 Vostok -88.8
21 July 1983 diff 138.9 Kuwait AP 49.7 Vostok -89.2
Hi Christ,

I found a footage of the Snow Canyon taken last week, right after the reopening of the road.(It is closed during winter...)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8m8xHbvJLE

The height of the snow wall is 18 meters (59') as of 15th April this year, at highest point.

Have a look at this official site with plenty of pictures.
Snow melts completely in mid/end July.
http://www.alpen-route.com/image/photo/index.html

Ciao,

Yusuke
Beautiful shot, Chris. I especially love the tornadic supercell at top. Just wow...

For what it's worth, the Chicago lakefront lightning shot seems to be from this Flickr page. The photographer's stream shows several other photos with similar vantage points, including one that looks to be from the same storm as the image you used.
Thank you for sharing these amazing photos! I love looking at the wild displays of creation in different parts of the world! Very cool!
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