Winter Solstice Snow/Ice Storm

GREENVILLE, MI (12/21/13 – 12/22/13) – A powerful storm system affected much of the eastern United States this weekend. This storm system was responsible for heavy snow, heavy ice accumulation, and severe weather, including a few tornadoes. The severe weather stayed south of us here in Michigan. However, we experienced freezing rain, sleet, and snow. Earlier in the week, we had freezing rain fall in the area, which made conditions hazardous. Ice had accumulated on the trees and power lines. Sidewalks, parking lots, and side roads were like skating rinks. We straddled the 32°F line at the surface for highs. The warmer air aloft was able to override the cold layer below, which resulted in a prolonged period of scattered freezing rain, and freezing drizzle. Some sleet and snow mixed in at times. Below are photos of the ice accumulations. As the larger storm system gathered strength to our SW, the moisture plume from it was already affecting us by late Saturday (Dec 21st). Below is an animated gif I … Read More…


Another Beautiful Sunset (Time Lapse Video + Photos)

Back to back gorgeous sunsets on 8/8/13 and 8/9/13. What more could a photographer ask for? I was out riding my bike at the time. I didn’t have my tripod with me, so for the video I just steadied my camera on my bicycle’s seat cushion. The angle was actually pretty good at accenting the sunset, so I’m not disappointed. Photos and videos are below. I captured some pretty cloud scenes before the sunset as well. It was definitely great to experience. Feel free to share this article around! … Read More…


Corkscrew Vortex Contrail, Sunset, and Clouds

Contrails

On the evening of March 30, 2013, I noticed some contrails and high clouds at sunset. I decided to grab my camera and see what sort of things I could capture. Another large aircraft leaving a thick contrail behind it began to pass through an old diffusing contrail. This definitely made for a few nice photo opportunities. I was pleased with what I had shot, but it’s what I saw when I was reviewing my images later that night that really got me excited. Little did I know, the contrail from this larger plane turned into a long corkscrew vortex! If I had known this while I was shooting, I would have snapped more pictures, but this definitely came as a nice surprise to me. Sometimes a little boredom and some contrails can go a long way! I snapped 5 images in total. The images below are in order of me taking them. The 5th image is a cropped version of the 4th to show details. The corkscrew vortex is … Read More…


Moon Photos: My Best Moon Photo to Date!

Worm Moon

March is the month of the full “Worm Moon”. Other names it is commonly called include the “Storm Moon” or “Sap Moon”. You can read all about the Worm Moon by Clicking Here. See a list of moon names for 2013 by Clicking Here. Last night (3/30/13) I captured the best moon photo I have ever captured. I also captured several others, but this one in particular is my favorite of them all. The moon was very bright, so I was able to shoot with a lower ISO and F stop, and a higher shutter speed to reduce blur. The quality of these images was fantastic. My best set of moon images to date. I used my tripod for this occasion as well. This is turned out to be a successful test for my Canon PowerShot SX40 HS as well. I stretched the zoom thresholds way further than I normally do. The first image is the winner for my best shot ever of the moon. The second was shot at … Read More…


Plasma Globe Photography

Plasma Globe

A few months ago I found my Plasma Globe in a box I obtained from storage. I’ve had it for a few years, but I never had a camera that could truly capture the magic of the Plasma Globe. I dusted it off, cleaned it all up, plugged it in, then took it upon myself to grab the camera for some indoor nighttime photography experiments. I set up my camera on my tripod and began to snap photos with various exposure settings. These four images are the best results from this experiment. They are included below. Click any image for larger view. I will definitely be doing more with this Magic Plasma Ball in the future. Read more about Plasma Globes here. You can buy your own here. … Read More…


First Accumulating Snow!

At around 2:00AM EST in Greenville, MI we had our first accumulating snow of the 2012-2013 Winter season! I had been monitoring the potential for snow a couple of days prior. The computer models showed a clipper system coming out of Canada, moving ESE toward Michigan. The WRF had a pretty good handle on what this clipper was going to do. I waited all night, watching the radar, and sure enough, light snow began to steadily overspread the area. One batch of heavier snow 26dbz to 32dbz developed right on top of me and gave me some heavier snow showers to get video and pictures of. This is also the first real snow test for my Canon PowerShot SX40 HS digital camera. So I was quick to take advantage of this opportunity. I snapped 3 or 4 images of the snow, and recorded a couple of short video clips. I didn’t have the best lighting possible, but I’d say this first test was a successful one! Below are images of … Read More…


Low Topped Supercell and Shelf Cloud 10/14/12

Today was a rather unplanned chase day. I awoke to a knock at the door, it was my friends, Charles and Tammy! They had come up to visit. So we were sitting around talking, laughing, and discussing the weather out on the balcony when we heard a rumble. Now there was a chance for storms, but I didn’t think it was that good of one, and plus it was sunny overhead with just a few cumulus clouds around. We didn’t think much of it. Then, we heard a second rumble, and a third, so I came indoors to check GRLevel3 (radar program) and sure enough, a thunderstorm was tracking northeast out of Ionia County. According to radar it was carrying some small hail 0.25″ to 0.50″. There was no question, we all decided to go chase it. We head east on M-57 and the closer we got the more menacing this thing looked. It had dark cloud bases, a decent rain and hail core on it, and it had a … Read More…


Garden Of The Gods 5/25/12

On May 25, 2012, we toured Garden Of The Gods located in the city of Colorado Springs, CO. This was a spectacular experience. The color contrast of the area was an amazing sight to behold. The rock formations, stunning, and the weather was perfect. We toured the whole park, then went up into the mountains and go a great view of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, and the surrounding area. It was an awesome experience, one I would definitely do again one day. We spent basically the entire day up there, with no storms to chase nearby, this was definitely a nice alternative. We were over 9,000ft up at one point. The reddish color to the rocks and dirt was accented nicely by the sun as it set as well. Below is a collection of images from the tour through Garden Of The Gods and up into the mountains, including images of Pikes Peak. Click any image thumbnail for larger view. We were treated to a lovely sunset over the mountains … Read More…


Castlewood Canyon State Park 5/25/12

On May 25, 2012 we toured Castlewood Canyon State Park in Franktown, CO. It was a very neat place, lots of photogenic rock formations and plenty of natural beauty. Finding wildlife proved to be difficult in the heat of midday, but I managed to get some nice landscape shots out of it. Tons of butterflies and flowers. I did get one shot of a butterfly, and also a Honeybee. The weather was absolutely perfect. Bright blue sky and sunshine with a bit of a breeze. Castlewood Canyon State Park has a network of trails through the park and a number of observation decks that offer some great canyon views, as well as a very pleasant nature walk experience. Click here to see a zoomed in Google Map of the park. Enjoy my images below, and also a short video I recorded of the canyon from one of the observation decks. … Read More…


High Based Shelf Cloud (PHOTOS + VIDEO)

This is an image of a high based shelf cloud that moved through the Greenville, MI area on May 15, 2012. The day started off very nice, sunshine, and temperatures were scheduled to reach the upper 70s to low 80s across the west Michigan area. The SPC had us in a Slight Risk area for severe weather, the primary threats would be large hail, and damaging wind gusts. But there were some limiting factors. The main one being the inadequate moisture, with precipitable water values only around 0.7 and dew points struggling to reach 50 degrees. The heat was there, so was the CAPE at 500-1000j/kg, and the low level lapse rates were very high, between 8.5 and 10 across the area, but the dry air ultimately won out for the most part. The SPC downgraded us to a ‘SEE TEXT’ for a lesser threat of severe weather. The day wasn’t exactly a bust, as a few severe reports were obtained, you can see those by Clicking Here. The worst … Read More…