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Cloud Photos


Walter John

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I greatly miss the one and only Walter John…

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What you look for is what is looking

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fire Rainbows / Firebow ( Circumhorazontal Arc )   ..Year #2:   Sun position in the sky is roughly noon, MST.  Firebow position is 6-o- clock ( due south ) of the Sun. As mentioned in past posts, Firebows are only seen after the sun has reached a position of 58 deg. above the horizon, which would equal roughly 10AM in most places this time of year, and through the summer / early Autumn. It will always be oriented " beneath ", or slightly to the left of where the sun is located in the sky.. Moving in an arc, ..from east / south east, to the south west across the southern sky through the day. Very rare that a cloud sheet is of long enough duration / crystal composition as it passes to see a firebow " follow the sun " thru the entire day.  As with many such events, Cirrus Cloud deck responsible for today's show originated in the Tropical E. Pacific,  southwest of Mexico, rotating clockwise < southwest to northeast > across Arizona and Mexico area today.

..First hint ( silvery blue Cirrus on the upper left of the photo.. Kind of tough to make out the color difference in the picture, but very obvious w/ the naked eye ) ..Only 2 Calendar days off of when i sighted the first of last year's events ( Wednesday, April 14th ).   Trees in the picture are the messy / invasive Leucanea leucocephala  in a neighbor's yard.


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Ramp up phase #1

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Intense phase:

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Fade out phase:

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Does anyone else see a horse coming out of this cloud or have I had too much Good Friday ?
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24 minutes ago, greysrigging said:

Does anyone else see a horse coming out of this cloud or have I had too much Good Friday ?
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A Horse, ..or hand grabbing something.. Would be even cooler if there was a lightning bolt coming out of the finger, or center of the hand.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Great day for " Sky Optics " as a dying trough of low pressure scoured some moisture off the East Pacific between Mexico and Hawaii, creating a thin band of Cirrus overhead through the day.

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First,  earlier in the day, a good attempt at another Circumhorizontal Arc, ending mostly in broken " Fire Clouds "

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Later, toward Sunset, a pretty vivid example of Cloud Iridescence that formed between bands of thicker Cirrus that were moving through.  Unlike Halos or Arcs, iridescence is caused by sunlight reflecting off individual water droplets or ice crystals.  While the clouds producing the effect seem to be forming in the clear area between the bands of Cirrus, they are actually forming below the Cirrus that is obscuring the sun.

Can see patches of iridescent clouds starting to form at roughly the 5 o' clock position below the sun, and above the group of Washingtonia below.

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How 'bout some night time sky optics..

Lunar  iridescence


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Rando shots playing w/ the long exposure on the camera just after sunset.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An image I took recently! Look at how dark the sky is! this was a microcell that had some of the loudest thunder!

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An Autistic 18 year old who has an obsession with Palms!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another day + moisture streaming north from Mexico = more Cch  ( Cch = Circumhorizontal ) Arcs

Illumination ramp- up phase..
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Peak Illumination

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Closer up..

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Wider Angle perspective..

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Flare up before fading out.

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Randoms..

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Turret Time..  Classic examples of Alto Cumulus Castellanus w/ some Floccus ( Decaying A.C. Castellanus ) and mid level turbulence induced Asperatus - type bases.

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Waning Full Moon and various subtropical cloud species.. Very tough to photograph the closer up shots..

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  • 2 weeks later...

 Recent stuff..

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While tracking last night's activity.. While good, by June standards, better storms formed west of Phoenix, while we got  scattered, " pop corn " - type activity.  Some good " rain core dump " shots from the hill regardless, despite very little lightning in any of the passing storms to photograph.

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..And before being chased off my vantage point by a storm trying to come to life overhead, ..a " Mountain Bow "  over the south end of the Superstition Wilderness, and Gold Canyon..  And a pretty good shot of the N.W'strn facing side of the Superstitions themselves. About a half hour before i headed up here to snap pictures, that area was being dumped on and was under a Flash Flood Warning.

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Cumulus castellanus  and the rapid evolution and decay of a Pulse - type thundershower


Cumulus castellanus, just about completely detached from it's base.. Like the Alto Cumulus version, a good sign of an unstable Atmosphere.


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Storms to the west kicking out an outflow boundary that helps initiate new cloud development

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Building Cumulus congestus

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young Cumulonimbus stage

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Near mature Towering Cb ( Cumulonimbus )

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Mature Cumulonimbus, complete w/ the occasional grumble and that Icy, not as crisp definition/ outline look to the cloud itself.

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Collapsing / Decaying Cb. Notice the well defined, dark, flat cloud base is gone, and the entire cloud itself looks " icy ".. In a " multicellular " storm, well defined base would still be present, w/ the tops growing deeper/ higher into the atmosphere. Cloud itself would be much harder to see through as well.  Cumulus development ahead of this storm is also riding the same outflow boundary moving in my general direction. As threatening or vigorous as some might look in the picture, none really did much.

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Another case of ..Plenty of energy and moisture around for good storm coverage, but just not enough " umph " to get more than widely scattered, pulse - type activity going in the valley..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Moderate " Haboob " progression and some great,  pre - sunset sky optics:

Tonight's " dust up"  lurking on the horizon as another storm starts to awaken to the right..


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Pileus " Crown " atop that quickly strengthening storm.

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..As the dust gets a little closer..

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" Seeds "  ..A term used to describe new storm cells development..  Along converging outflows from the south and east in this case. 

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..As the dust gets a little closer, can see the outflow " reaching out " toward the upper left, toward those developing Seed cells from the beast on the right..

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Getting closer..

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" Seed " development progression.. Notice the dust starting to nose in below from the right / how each Cumulus clump is growing taller..  These would become the strongest part of last night's storms, dumping 1" of rain in some spots in less than an hour,  roughly 3 miles to my east,  knocking down trees in the same area, and flooding part of Hwy. 60 for a time.

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New " Beast "  now fully awake and about to send out a microburst just south of town ( See the " Brown Out " pictures in the Sunset Thread ) Was starting to grumble a bit at this point.. Estimate the cloud top is around 40K ft. atm. Storm is a few miles further south then the mid level cloud " shelf " it appears to be embedded in / sitting atop.

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 " Brown Tsunami "  inbound..

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Into the Dust we go..

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.. As a Gravity Wave from those massive storms in Mexico reached the Valley late last night, some rapidly developing Cumulus, front lit by the moon.  Would go on to form another flashy dumper about a half hour later..

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..As the rising Super Moon emerges from the clouds in a different pat of the sky..

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A few from the Saturday storm event that " swiped left " when approaching/ passing west across Phoenix.


Was sitting around watching  this storm forming due east of Chandler over Globe, AZ which lies just east of Superior up in the foothills. From the radar signature at the time, looked like it was going to make a beeline straight down the 60 into the east valley.  Seeing the opportunity to get pictures of a big storm on approach, headed to this year's new  vantage point to get a better view.

Anvil spreading west as i'm on the road headed east.. Storm itself is still 40+ miles away up in the hills.


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Seeing how dwarfed the San Tans are in this picture, compared to the advancing Anvil, can tell this was a big storm.  ( Would later see cloud tops at this point in it's lifecycle were in the 55-58K ft range )

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As ominous as it looks, can already see the storm starting to turn more to the north ( left in the picture ) then head directly toward my position. Can see clearing sky behind it to the south as well, and no additional development in that same area, or along the outflow boundary headed in my general direction under the front of the storm.. 

Storms wayy off in the distance in picture #2 are already in trouble due to having their source of heat cut off by the first storm.


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What it looked like as it proceeds northwest over the fringe foothill neighborhoods like Apache Junction, Fountain Hills and the mid section of the lower Salt River ( far east side of the Valley ..as you'd begin to head up into the mountains toward towns like Payson, up on that side of the rim )

Essentially, this is a storm turning severe.. Can see both a well developed shelf cloud ..and perhaps some lowering,  mesocyclonic- like development, as well as new cells feeding into the storm above.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hands down the best " cloud day " of the year..  Change the background a bit, and this would pass for a storm in Kansas..

Similar to a few days ago, what was a pretty tranquil opening to the day quickly turned stormy around late afternoon..  Most folks weren't sure if debris clouds hanging around thru the morning,  from last night's scattered storms, would hinder storm development in the desert today.  Thankfully, as the saying goes, the weather does what the weather wants.  Today set up placed this side of town in the bullseye of a pretty strong storm that blew up over the mountains to my southwest, and decided to follow a somewhat unusual ..by the heart of Monsoon season standards, path toward the northeast, before turning more toward the southeast after passing through. Strongest part of the storm anyway.

While i got some rain from it, strongest part of this storm stayed a few blocks to my south, headed east along the 202 ( highway  ) before fizzling out over San Tan Valley. As nasty as it might look, not too much lightning, at least overhead which was somewhat surprising. Some dust but, as you can see in some of the pictures, barely avoided a total " Brown out "

Rapid development of beefy Cumulus clouds roughly over the middle of town.. Strong storm to the southwest is already casting a pretty dark shadow overhead.. Was clear about an hour before hand.  These are developing along an outflow boundary that pushed south out of the mountains on the north side of town.


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First stage of a brief "core dump" from the same group of Cumulus as they get themselves together and shift to the east a bit.. As innocent as it looks, these " quiet " storms can unleash pretty intense Cloud to Ground strikes w/out any hints/ warning.  More typical is the storm which grumbles a bit as it grow/ intensifies, before it starts flinging bolts. This is the classic " bolt from the blue ' kind of storm.

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Same cluster of showers a little later as another, stronger cell lets loose..

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One mean looking storm looming off to the southwest, already starting to churn up the atmosphere overhead... a good sign it will likely try and move in my direction.  Can see a shelf and wall cloud trying to form under it as well.

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First sign it is definitely headed in my general direction..

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View from out front as it approaches/ passes just a few blocks to my south..  Watching the wall cloud as it approaches, there were hints of rotation at times but it just couldn't pull it off.  Living there and chasing plenty of storms of similar structure, a similar looking storm in Kansas would likely have a Tornado warning issued on it.  Can see just how dense the dust was this storm was scooping up as it rolls in  in some of the shots.  Quite an impressive storm event, just wish the core would have passed directly overhead.

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What some people might mistake for fragments of a developing funnel is just scrappy bits of " Scud " ..Stringy bits of cloud that often get scooped up into an advancing wall cloud. Btw, barely raining, despite the angry skies rolling through overhead.

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Somehow i forgot to add these:

Driving toward and through a sunrise storm hanging over the head of the Superstitions on my way to Oak Flat.  Being 5:40 -ish on a Sunday morning allowed me to snap the pictures while driving.


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Little bit of a Whale's Mouth / Shelf-y looking cloud trying to form under the storm.

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Dumping over Gold Canyon..

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Passing through the "tail" of this storm, everything looks more ominous than it was.. Passed through roughly 5 minutes of heavier rain. " Good Stuff " stayed locked up over Gold Canyon, out of view to my left.
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Nice Mammatus Clouds above on the backside as i head uphill.. Dromedary Peak tucked into the horizon just to the right of the highway ahead.

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Some recent stuff:

More Fire clouds...


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Some interesting Mammatus below a distant storm

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Pileus...

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More Stormy Sky Candy..  After missing most of the storms that rolled through the valley over the past few days, last night delivered -something- ... Another case where it looks nastier than it was.. Lots of wind, more rain from this one than many storms this season but, oddly, not a ton of lightning w/ it,  and rolled through pretty quickly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some I have

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YouTube https://www.youtube.com/@tntropics - 60+ In-ground 7A palms - (Sabal) minor(7 large + 27 seedling size, 3 dwarf),  brazoria(1) , birmingham(4), etonia (1) louisiana(5), palmetto (1), riverside (1),  (Trachycarpus) fortunei(7), wagnerianus(1),  Rhapidophyllum hystrix(7),  18' Mule-Butia x Syagrus(1),  Blue Butia odorata (1) +Tons of tropical plants.  Recent Yearly Lows -6F, -1F, 12F, 11F, 18F, 16F, 3F, 3F, 6F, 3F, 1F, 16F, 17F, 6F, 8F

 

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Capturing the rare sight of an awakening Bear Cat, 🤣..   Much better looking than a Sun Devil 🤪 :greenthumb:

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  • 3 weeks later...

A couple recent:

Compact but nice structure on this isolated storm as it heads east..


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The storm that got away... Literally blew up 3 or 4 streets to the east, then dumped ..over there  ..rather than trying to back build over the house..  If you look closely, you'll notice a " stump " in a picture or two which represents another Washingtonia in the street island taken out  ...Via a pretty nasty accident last weekend, pretty much in front of the house. 

No one hurt and wasn't easy to tell the palm had been snapped at first when i was directing traffic before the police showed up..  ...and someone brought me my shoes, lol.  ...Was sitting in the living room cleaning seed when the accident happened and ran outside to be sure no one was injured, forgetting to put on shoes after checking in the people involved, before i proceeded to start directing traffic. 

Amazing how a fairly big accident isn't enough to catch the attention of people in on-coming traffic, even though it is only half a blocks' distance in front of them, and taking up 2 lanes of the road. People really need to start focusing on the road, vs. anything else while driving. Anyway..

Btw, not a wall of dust below the storm this time, just very heavy rain.


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Good example of Iridescence in some Cirrostratus between developing Cumulus.

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'Ment to post this some time ago, but..  Got lazy, haha..

While we didn't see much rain from the Hurricane Kay's visit,  Icy Cirrus originating from that system did bring a very unusual " Lights in the Sky " display a couple days before we saw showers.

In some images i changed the camera's setting to " vivid " since that setting seems to capture the colors created by Ice Crystals compared to standard settings ( which greatly wash out the colors, compared to what i'm seeing w/ my own eyes ) anyway.. " optics are a bit faint this time around and pictures are a bit on the grainy side for whatever reason.

Included a " Optical Phenomenon " Guide from a U.K. Atmospheric Sciences Website to help point out some of the things going on in the clouds that day. Overall website itself is a good source of information.


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All too common 22deg Halo with Parhelia, aka Sun Dog. Fainter on the left side then the right. Faint Upper Tangent Arc trying to illuminate at the top of the Halo.

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22deg. halo with faint Circumzenithal Arc above it.

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Slightly better picture..

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Sun dog with attached Parhelic Circle ...The whitish " half Smile " arcing out from the Sun Dog, to the right.

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Not sure what proper classification this falls under is but pretty sure i have herd it referred to as an " Anti-Solar " spot in the past..  " Tail " that arcs to the left is part of the Parhelic  Circle that connects to the Sun Dog mentioned above.. Rare that you see one this vivid, or long lived. lasted approx. 45 minutes.

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Circumzenithal Arc with extremely faint attempt at forming the top half of a 46deg Halo and Supralateral Arc.

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Faint, but one of the better attempts at Upper Tangent Arcs, aka " Sky Brows " i have seen in awhile.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Belated Cloud shots:

First storm of the day. Red Mountain, near Patagonia, AZ. While isolated and locked over the mountain, plenty of loud thunder claps echoing through the air as it got going.


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Tucson area

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Near Newman's Peak / Picacho

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Somewhere on the flats between Eloy and Coolidge. Well known for all the fields of Cotton out here but appears someone is growing Roses ..or some other flowering shrub in a few areas now.

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Blackwater area, looking toward the San Tan Mountains.

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Malpias Hills w/ San Tan Peak in the background.

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North side of the 'Tans

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About an hour after i'd got back to the house last week..  Knew i was being followed, haha.

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Wider shot: Note how close to sunset it is..

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A very colorful photo I Took of a passing thunder storm with the beautiful fall colors!

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An Autistic 18 year old who has an obsession with Palms!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven’t hit on this thread in a long time, a lot of clouds to catch up on!

Tropical clouds; rain on the way from the east carried by the trades. 
 

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Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Unusual display of  Parhelion, Aka a "Sun Dog" on a chilly November morning.. In this case it appears the air the ice crystals were forming in was well below zero thus amplifying brightness.  Cloud itself appears to turn over and contract in the next 3 pictures,  before completely precipitating into.. and evaporating as whatever ice / snow descends into / through a layer of very dry air below it .. A sort of "Fall Streak"- like phenomenon..

Unfortunately, because i was driving, timing was such that i was making a turn behind an 18 wheeler hauling some sort of portable office building just as the final act of this optical event was occurring..

Illumination phase:  Cloud layer below ..or more in the distance currently reflecting more light than the cloud responsible for the overall display.


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Peak Brightening Phase with contraction ..and probable overturning of the cloud itself at that level in the atmosphere..  Beyond the final picture i could take, entire cloud would dissolve into nothing but streaks of rainbow colored ice before fading out / completely evaporating.. Overall event duration was pretty short ..less than 25 minutes.

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Edited by Silas_Sancona
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