Thursday, March 23, 2017

More Random, Really Cool Weather Images

Satellite view taken Monday of most of New England
shrouded in snow cover.
In my continuing hunt for cool weather media, I'll share a few more finds from recent weather events that I think are really cool.

In any of the photos you see in this post, click on them to make them bigger and easier to see.

The first one is a real color satellite image taken amid clear skies this past, of New England, eastern New York and a bit of southern Quebec after that big snowstorm we got a little over a week ago.

In it, all but southeastern New England is encased in snow. The warm March sun had caused the thinner snow cover in and around Cape Cod to begin retreating northward.]

You can see the large dark spot on the northwestern edge of Vermont. That's the still open, ice-free water of Lake Champlain.

The snow also allows you to see the land features and land uses better. Notice much of the Champlain Valley and southeastern Quebec look whiter than other areas.

That's because there's more open fields in these locations. The spine of the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks are darker, because of all the trees and lack of open spaces.
A dense March 14 snow squall over Lake Michigan and Chicago

Smaller, frozen lakes also show up as bright white.

It's a pretty stunning post-snowstorm image, isn't it?

The next photo was taken March 14 from downtown Chicago.

Chicago can get lake effect snows off of Lake Michigan, especially if the wind is coming from the northeast, off the water.

The photo, taken from a high rise, shows the waters of Lake Michigan abruptly being hidden by a thick curtain of snow from a squall.

After going through January and February with no snow on the ground, winter finally hit Chicago in mid-March with a series of snowy and cold days.

Spring is returning to Chicago, however. The forecast high temperature on Friday there is 74 degrees.

Next, we turn to Hutchinson, Kansas, scene of widespread wild fires earlier this month. The winter in the central and southern Plains was dry, and that region has been subjected to repeated bouts of record warmth, super dry air and high winds all winter and early spring.

Aerial view of home near
Hutchinson, Kanasas spared
from a huge wildfire 
The result was the worst wildfires on record. Kansasans are calling the wildfires "our Katrina," referencing the 2005 hurricane calamity in New Orleans.

The wild fires earlier this month killed seven people and thousands of cattle caught in the fast moving flames. Many other cows were badly injured in the fires and ranchers had the heartbreaking task of taking out their rifles and shooting them to put the animals out of their severe misery and pain.

The photo in this post depicts one of the lucky ones. It shows a house that survived the wildfires near Hutchinson, Kansas, even as everything for miles around burned to a crisp

After a break, the wildfire threat has returned this week. Hundreds of Boulder, Colorado residents had to be evacuated due to a wildfire Sunday, which was fortunately contained.

Today, there's an extreme risk of dangerous wildfires in eastern New Mexico, the Texas panhandle and southeastern Colorado.

Let's hope they get some rain soon.

Also, here in the United States, we're ramping up into tornado season, too. There've already been some deadly outbreaks over the winter, so things are not off to a good start.

March 9 tornado in Germany 
Starting today, and continuing daily for the next week or so in different parts of the Plains, Midwest and South, there will be a threat of severe storms as we've entered a weather pattern that features such weather.

Of course, tornadoes don't only happen in the United States. They can happen almost anywhere. On March 9, there was a particularly picturesque tornado in, of all places, Wurzburg, Bavaria, Germany.

The tornado damaged the roofs of up to 80 homes. 

Tornadoes do take place from time to time in Germany and other parts of Europe. It's quite unusual to get one this far north in Europe this early in the season, however.

The tornado, as you can see in the photo, was really striking, lit up white by the late afternoon sun against dark clouds, with a rainbow crossing above it.

Elsewhere, a small tornado passed through the Brisbane, Australia airport, causing a scare but not causing much damage.

Here's the video, below. Note the tail end of the video is not that exciting, just a local weather report. But the tornado is cool:

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