Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One Foot Of Snow; The Snow Piles Are Growing

We got about a foot of snow from the big snowstorm that came across the Midwest, starting here yesterday evening. We still had large piles of snow in the driveway from the last big snowstorm, and they have now grown to a huge size. I asked my husband to stand in the photos that I took for scale. I decided to have some fun with the pictures that I took of him standing in the driveway near the piles of snow, and I stitched four of them together. The result is below! He's such a good sport.

Needless to say, we’re tired of the snow. But, living in northeast Ohio, we know that winter – and the snow – is far from over.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The View from the Capitol Building

Since today is Inauguration Day, I found myself thinking back to a trip we made to Washington DC in 1994 and the fantastic view we had when standing at the top of the steps of the Capitol Building, in virtually the same place the Inauguration takes place. Here’s what it looked like that fall day that we visited, with a view of the Mall and the Washington Monument. It’s a great sight to see, and I am sure it will be even more amazing today as this same area is filled with record numbers of people for the Inauguration of Barack Obama.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Blowing Bubbles in Temperatures Below Zero

It was another frigid day here in Northeast Ohio. The temperatures hit –13 degrees during the early hours of the morning. So, what’s the best thing to do when it gets that cold? Go outside! Seriously, I always wanted to see what bubbles would do when they encountered such cold air, and I was amazed at how well some of them held up. Some created small vapor clouds when they broke. But it was interesting to see some of them shatter or burst and release icy particles that looked like cellophane. So, I got out the camera and took a short video. For future reference – never touch a metal camera tripod with your wet glove when the temps are below zero…you may not be able to get it off. (Of course, better your wet glove than a wet hand.)

Bubbles Burst and Shatter At Sub-Zero Temps (High quality setting)

This video can be viewed in standard quality on YouTube, here.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Frosty Fractals, Part 2

Last year during a January cold snap, some beautiful frost formations appeared on some of our windows and I posted them on my blog, here.

It got down to about 9 degrees last night, so the conditions were good for some frost to form on our garage windows. The sky was also very clear today, which provided some nice bright light in order to get the full effects of the intricate frost.

I always enjoy the sparkling fractal patters that form in the frost. Sadly, the sparkle doesn’t translate very well with the camera, but the patterns are clearly visible by just adding a little more contrast to the picture, and adding a solarizing effect. Here are a few pictures for all the fractal fans out there to enjoy from the warmth of their own homes!

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Foot Of Snow, More To Come

We received about a foot of snow from a large winter storm that occurred from a collision of an “Alberta Clipper” from Canada (with cold air) and a wet low pressure system coming up from the south. The result: A foot of snow in our yard. Since there was virtually no wind with this storm, the snow dropped straight down and settled on surfaces, piling high in some cases.

Most interesting was the snow pattern on this wind catcher that hangs on one of our big oak trees. The wind catcher usually spins with the slightest breeze, but not today. It stayed still long enough for a few inches of snow to pile up on it.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

A June Thunderstorm, Part 2

While I was sorting through my computer files, doing a year-end cleanup and backup of my pictures and videos, I found an unnamed video file. It was in my weather video files for 2007, so I figured it was some weather event that I recorded two summers ago and decided it wasn’t worth even giving it a name.

When I looked at the video, I was surprised to see it was the second half of a video of a thunderstorm that passed through in June of 2007. I had already uploaded the video of the first half to YouTube and must have either completely forgotten about the second half, or figured that no one would want to watch two more minutes of wind and rain. But what surprised me was that while it was the same storm, there was one big difference – the winds in the second video had made a huge shift and were coming from the exact opposite direction that was in the first half of the storm. (Part 1 had winds coming out of the south; part 2 had the winds coming out of the north.) I decided to upload the second half of the video so all my weather-junkie friends can enjoy seeing the big shift in wind direction from this one strong storm.

Here’s Part 2, just added today. Winds are coming from the north

And here’s Part 1, which was added in June of 2007. Winds are coming from the south

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