Earth Day photos; severe weather outbreak in the Plains this week

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:18 PM GMT on April 22, 2007

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On Earth Day, I like to post a blog celebrating the beauty and diversity of Earth's amazing atmosphere, by featuring some of my favorite wunderphotos posted during the year. This year, my favorite photo was posted by Gary Blevins (Photo5150), who posted "Fire Tornado". The intense heat generated by this forest fire in California formed a strong updraft, and air flowing in from the sides to replace the air sucked out by the updraft created a swirling dust-devil-like "fire tornado". Thanks to all of you who shared your weather experiences through wunderphotos and blogs over the past year! The community of weather appreciators that has emerged here at wunderground.com has been an unexpected and wonderful thing to tune into each day.




And truffula trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new truffula -- treat it with care.
Give it clean water and feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest -- protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back!

--From Dr. Suess' The Lorax

I've linked in a few more of my favorite wunderphotos below. I'll be back with a new blog Tuesday.

Severe weather in the Plains
Tornadoes hit the Texas Panhandle over the weekend, and the Storm Prediction Center has put portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado under their Moderate Risk region for severe weather both Monday and Tuesday. Wunderphotographer Mike Theiss was there to cover the action Sunday, and saw the tornado that caused severe damage in Tulia, Texas. He will be in the Plains chasing tornadoes this week, so be sure to tune into his blog for the latest!

--Jeff Masters

the foam and the sun (lunada)
the foam and the sun
Rainbow whale (Jhfelder)
Rainbow made From a sperm whale using his blowhole
Rainbow whale
Somewhere over the rainbow (fultonsphotos)
It took me a few hundred shots but I finally captured the rainbow and the lightning.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Cirrus Scraper (faulknjc1)
Cirrus clouds reflected off a new skyscraper in downtown Atlanta Tuesday.
Cirrus Scraper

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215. TheCaneWhisperer
2:24 PM GMT on April 24, 2007
Good to see you to SJ! I will take a pic of the mud puddle, I mean lake. Funny thing is, they still have the fountains on in the middle. Seems that would be a bad idea. I am surprised they haven't been told to turn them off or done so willingly.
214. StormJunkie
2:09 PM GMT on April 24, 2007
Morning y'all.

Good to see ya TCW. Hope you and lightning get some rain soon. We got a pretty good shot last week, but things are still pretty dry...
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
213. lightning10
2:03 PM GMT on April 24, 2007
While you are doing a rare dance for South Florida also do one for So Cal. While we did get 2 storm last week almost all areas are still on track for there dryest winter ever. Most areas reporting less then 2-3 inches of rain since July 1st of 06.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 41 Comments: 630
212. TheCaneWhisperer
2:02 PM GMT on April 24, 2007
Acesover8s

Best Chance looks to be Sat, Sun and Monday. Highest chance is 40% on Sat, not the best but we'll take it. Crazy dry down here, I used to enjoy sitting on my patio and looking at the lake. The lake is now down about 5 feet, not very sightly.
211. franck
1:58 PM GMT on April 24, 2007
Yep, that's the story. Dry as a bone.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
210. StoryOfTheCane
10:01 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
209. Acesover8s
9:50 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Everyone do the Rain dance for Southeast Fl. We are going to Faze 3 shortly. Any chance at all there might be some Rain coming down the pike soon?
208. StoryOfTheCane
5:23 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
dry as a bone

207. sporteguy03
4:46 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Question:
I see someone posted that new buoys have been deployed...what has the NHC and the Government done in advancements in technology from last year to this year so we are better prepared?
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5120
206. lightning10
4:23 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
La Nina not looking to impressive as of know. I know its early but that makes me happy.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 41 Comments: 630
205. weatherboykris
2:10 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Posted By: Patrap at 1:03 AM GMT on August 27, 2006.

..the Season arrives in the Carribean,,..almost can here the Jaws Original Soundtrack playing in the background..Da..dummm..Da...dum!


LOL
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
204. weatherboykris
2:08 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
What day was that?Must've been in August or Early September...
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
203. Patrap
2:06 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
someone pull up the Main Blog archive on that day. It was a zoo..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
202. HurricaneMyles
2:03 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
I remember reading that the GFDL model went completely nuts with intensity once it was adjusted so that the storm could cross the dateline. The alogorithms that were used for Atlantic and East/Cent Pacific just didnt work once it crossed the dateline(since the GFDL wasent originally programmed for that, hence why Ioke bounced off it before it was adjusted) If I remember the details right, it was that the ocean heat transferred to the atmosphere was way too high, which caused the instantiy that followed.
Member Since: January 12, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
201. Patrap
1:56 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
it was a script error,that created a mirror image.Thats all.No mystery. GIGO..garbage in,garbage out. Like in the Apollo days. But thats a neat blog entry too..Dr. Masters posted about it in an entry after it occurred if memory serves me. I dont like to search for the past.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
200. weatherboykris
1:55 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
I doubt it.Don't you think the designers consider things like that before they start running the model?I'd think so.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
198. Patrap
1:50 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Model script errors..a DUH moment for many.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
197. weatherboykris
1:49 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Posted By: Patrap at 1:38 AM GMT on April 24, 2007.

one run Had Ioke bouncing off the International Date Line,..backing up, and freaking out about half the Planet too.LOL


Why'd they do that?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
196. weatherboykris
1:42 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Why'd they do that?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
193. Patrap
1:38 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
one run Had Ioke bouncing off the International Date Line,..backing up, and freaking out about half the Planet too.LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
192. weatherboykris
1:38 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
LOL Patrap.

Saharan Air Layer is what SAL stands for.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
191. weatherboykris
1:37 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Hurricane force winds on that image were 150 miles from the center to the SE.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
190. mlauth
1:35 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
What does SAL stand for?
Member Since: December 30, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
189. Patrap
1:35 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
..its going west too.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
188. weatherboykris
1:34 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
860mb,with a max wind of 191kt?Considering it was a fish storm,too bad that didn't occur.It would've been quite the event.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
186. weatherboykris
1:25 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
nice
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
185. hurricane23
12:19 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
stormhank here are a few models from systems back in 2005.

Wilma model runs...

MM5-



GFDL-



Hurricane rita...

European model-



Hurricane Katrina...

UKMET-



GFS-



GEM-



Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
184. weatherboykris
12:06 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
There had been a lack of buoys in the Eastern Carribean.The addition of 42059 will be welcomed.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
183. weatherboykris
12:04 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Pick a year Hank.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
182. weatherboykris
12:04 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Yeah,that's great.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
181. hurricane23
12:01 AM GMT on April 24, 2007
Awsome stuff with the addition of the new bouys...Things will be monitered like never before.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
180. 882MB
11:50 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Hey everybody, The new 18UTC GFS LOOP shows a LOW PRESSURE IN THE SOUTHERN CARRIBEAN IN 2 WEEKS BUT WEAKENS IT QUICK BUT TOO FAR OUT!!!
Member Since: September 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 348
179. Patrap
11:18 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Try that request in Google or a good search engine. Im sure youll get some hits.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
178. stormhank
10:53 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Hi anyone here?? does nayone know or have any links to where you can view archived model runs of past hurricanes? 2004 or 2005 model runs of like ivan, katrina, dennis etc?
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1382
177. weathersp
9:52 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
OMG Martin State airport is like 30 away from here. I am so going...
Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
176. Skyepony (Mod)
9:04 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
The NOAA WP-3 Orion turboprop Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be available to the public for tours during the following hours.
(All times EDT.)
Date/Time Airport Aircraft on Display
Monday, April 30
3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Quonset State Airport North Kingstown, R.I.
Tuesday, May 1
2 :30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Cape May County Airport, N.J.
Wednesday, May 2
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Martin State Airport near Baltimore, Md.
Thursday, May 3
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. U.S. Coast Guard Support Center in Elizabeth City, N.C.
Friday, May 4
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Daytona Beach International Airport, Fla.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36067
175. Skyepony (Mod)
9:01 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Buoys:))


EIGHT NEW NOAA BUOYS WILL PROVIDE MORE FORECASTING DATA THIS HURRICANE SEASON
(highlights)

April 23, 2007 NOAA deployed the first two of eight new hurricane buoys off Puerto Rico in an effort to fill a gap in important weather data coming from warm, storm-generating waters there. Six more hurricane buoys will be placed in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean before the hurricane season ends in November.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36067
174. Levi32
8:42 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Gainesvillegator - You are correct, some models do better with different levels of the atmosphere than others. Some models also just have a hard time picking up something as small as a tropical depression. Higher resolution models generally handle those better.

We won't know where the Bermuda High will set up until late May/early June. Right now models indicate it could set up further west than last year, but there's no way to tell until this time next month.

KYhomeboy - the answer is yes and no. An active ITCZ can occur anytime, anywhere. It's all dependent on the MJO and where it is on the globe. If the MJO forms a pattern and the ITCZ is consistently active over the Atlantic before hurricane season, then yes you could say there would be more chance for strong tropical waves to form and become depressions.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
173. hurricaneman23
7:17 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
any tropical development in the next couple weeks?
172. weatherboykris
6:09 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
hello
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
171. franck
5:55 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Nope, those aren't cirrus clouds being reflected on that giant glass shard with little occupancy interrupting that beautiful sky.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
170. Inyo
5:25 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Check out the latest La Nina advisory.. La Nina is looking a little bit anemic right now. They still forecast it to kick in... and i guess it is logical coming off of a pseudo-el-nino... but I'm not yet convinced
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 867
169. KYhomeboy
5:05 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Can someone answer this??? Does an active, earlier than normal ITCZ mean that the season will be more active as oppossed to a less active one?
168. GainesvilleGator
4:36 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Hey Levi, I think some of the computer models key off of different layers of the atmosphere. That is why some models work better with weaker storms & some with stronger storms. At what point in May will we get a good fix on where the Bermuda High will be? Mid May or right before Hurricane season starts?
Member Since: September 11, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 744
167. franck
4:26 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Yep, those aren't typical horsetails.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
166. sunlakedude
4:02 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Cirrus Skyscraper.
To faulknic1. Ok, while the picture you posted of the cirrus skyscraper was beautiful to behold, the clouds you photographed are not technically "cirrus". The clouds actually look like alto-cumulus or alto-stratus. Cirrus are a thin wispy cloud that the sun will often shine through with little difficulty.
Member Since: March 13, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 84
165. Levi32
2:31 PM GMT on April 23, 2007
Also, the CIMSS steering currents page shows what storm intensities are steered by what levels. For example, it says that a storm of 970-989mb is steered by the mean steering layer at 400-850mb. I usually just like to think that it's steered at the highest level they show, which is 400mb in this case. The 850 value gets kind of confusing.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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