Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Clear and cool (60 degrees F) summer conditions in the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 28, 2011, allowed for the creation of a light streak from the movement of satellite COSMOS 1812 (bottom) from this one-minute exposure at f/3.5, 320 ISO and an 18mm focal length. This view looks west over Bowman Woods Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa around 3:12 AM. The bright cluster of stars at top left center is the constellation Lyra, dominated by the 0.00 magnitude star Vega.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Drifting nighttime cirrus clouds are accentuated in this 16-second exposure at f/3.5, 500 ISO and 18mm focal length. This west-looking image was captured just before midnight from the grounds at Echo Hill Presbyterian Church in Marion, Iowa on Friday, June 24, 2011. The bright object at center is the planet Saturn, accompanied at its 2 o'clock position by the fainter 3.43 magnitude star Porrima in the constellation Virgo. The 2.12 magnitude star Denebola in the constellation Leo is seen at far right.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Star trails wheel around Polaris, the North Star (top), in this image taken from the parking lot at Echo Hill Presbyterian Church in Marion, Iowa. The image is a product of a stacked group of nine three-minute exposures taken from 11:29-11:55 PM on Friday, June 24, 2011. Each exposure was shot at f/3.5, 250 ISO and 18mm focal length. The grayish-brown areas at bottom are encroaching clouds which obscured the entire sky less than an hour later. The night was calm, the air temperature cool--around 60 degrees F--with no pesky insects. The bright group of stars at upper left is the pan area of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). The bright stars at far right make up the constellation Cassiopeia.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Reminiscent of a Marvin Cone painting, these cumulonimbus calvus clouds billow in the distant north sky along US Highway 20 around 4:50 PM, Sunday, June 19, 2011. This position was located at the River Forest Road exit (Exit 70) at Evansdale, Iowa, less than mile east of Waterloo. Cone (1891-1965), a Cedar Rapids, Iowa native and friend of artist Grant Wood, was well known for his oil paintings of billowing clouds.
Monday, June 20, 2011
The sun sets through a northwest sky in Marion, Iowa accentuated by smoke from wild fires in Arizona at 8:30 PM, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. This view was captured just west of the Christ Community United Methodist Church in Marion. The thoroughfare in the distance is East Robins Road.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
The sun is briefly obscured by cumulus humilis clouds in the western sky as seen from the Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa around 6:25 PM, Saturday, June 11, 2011. This image looks out over a silhouetted Raccoon River Valley.
Friday, June 17, 2011
The soft glow of twilight in the northwestern sky is seen from the dance floor veranda at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa just before 9:30 PM on Saturday, June 11, 2011. This image was captured 45 minutes after sundown. The occasion for my presence here was a wedding and wedding reception (note the chairs from the earlier outdoor ceremony at left). The renowned Glen Oaks clubhouse was constructed in 1993.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
A funnel-like protrusion hangs from a wall cloud-like lowering around 6:25 PM, Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at the Brandon, Iowa exit (Exit 49) northbound along Interstate 380. It was hard to tell if there was rotation in the cloud as I was driving into it solo, so one may never know if it was truly tornadic or not. I heard no sirens here. The lowering, almost directly overhead at the Brandon exit, dissipated quickly as the storm continued east. This was just round one of storms and this area experienced golf ball size hail about an hour later.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
This severe storm cell seen behind the ball diamond and basketball court at Liniger Park in Marion, Iowa around 7:07 PM, Wednesday, June 15, 2011, was in fact about 54 miles away to the northeast. The heavier part of the storm at this time was located just northwest of La Motte, Iowa, in north Jackson County, about 14 miles south of Dubuque and moving east. Cloud tops reached some 35,000 feet.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Though seen here in the northwest sky, this glow resembling the Aurora Borealis was not a Northern Lights display at Noelridge Christian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa around 8:20 PM, Wednesday, June 8, 2011. A very thin veil of clouds and light rain following a previous round of severe storms allowed the setting sun to partially shine through it for about a half hour before heavy rain, penny size hail and dangerous CTG lightning returned a second time.
Monday, June 13, 2011
A shelf cloud, the leading edge of a powerful gust front, surges in from the northwest (left) as seen from Echo Hill Presbyterian Church in Marion, Iowa around 7:40 PM, Wednesday, June 8, 2011. This storm proved to be very severe, with straight line winds reaching 60-80 mph, uprooting some trees and breaking large branches off others. Golf ball size hail was also reported in the area about an hour later.
Friday, June 10, 2011
The northwest sky at Noelridge Christian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa had this eerie orangish cast to it at 8:15 PM, Wednesday, June 8, 2011. This sky spectacle was a bit of a lull from the intense cloud lowerings and high gust front winds of the hours preceding it. The glow lasted about 30 minutes or more before heavy rain, hail--some penny size--and deadly CTG lightning returned.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I encountered this impressive cloud lowering about 4.5 miles southeast of Brandon, Iowa and about 23 miles northwest of Cedar Rapids on a solo storm chase around 6:23 PM, Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Base radar reflectivity images of the area around the intense structure showed a lavender color and cloud tops above the lowering, a possible wall cloud, reached some 50,000 feet. This image was captured northbound on Interstate 380, about 3/4-mile southeast of the County Highway D62 overpass and about 3.5 miles SE of the Brandon exit (County Highway D48). The photo is somewhat blurry because of the fact I had to shoot the image through the windshield with one hand on the wheel and one hand on the camera, and also because the camera was set on manual focus (autofocus did not work well in the darkened conditions). At this moment the overall storm system--of which this scene was part of--stretched from northeast of Des Moines into central Wisconsin.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
A hazy sun shines weakly through a sky loaded with high altitude smoke particles produced from wildfires in distant Arizona as dark cumulus clouds drift toward it in this view from Progress Drive in Hiawatha, Iowa around 7:20 AM, Wednesday, June 8, 2011.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
This hazy, fiery sunset seen in the northwest sky in Marion, Iowa around 8:30 PM, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, was enhanced by the smoke from wildfires in the state of Arizona, over 1,000 miles away. The cluster of homes at center is located just off East Robins Road on Newcastle Road and Mulberry Drive in Marion. This image was captured with a 122mm focal length.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
This storm cell, spiking at from 40,000-45,000 feet and seen from the grounds at Noelridge Christian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was located 40 miles to the southwest. Its position at this time was at the border of Poweshiek and Iowa counties near Interstate 80 and the town of Victor. The storm was the trailing cell of a system that stretched east into central Illinois. Cedar Rapids was not affected by this system as it moved well south of the city. This image was captured at 7:55 AM, Sunday, June 5, 2011.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I had heard some muffled thunder and had just stepped outside to take the recycling out when I saw this view of the sky-- a churning, swirling mass of clouds that included some mammatus in the mix. The heavier clouds were even creating bow shocks (upper right) into the less dense leading edge of clouds. This view looks west over Bowman Woods Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa just before 6:30 AM, Thursday, June 2, 2011. In about another five minutes the spectacle was over. The clouds were part of an approaching thin and rather weak line of thundershowers.