Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Winter Storm Skies #2

It's probably pretty clear to anyone who reads this blog, even periodically, that skies and clouds are more than just a passing interest for me.  The open space and big skies of the southwest just never get old, and I hope the images I show don't get old for viewers, either.

These photos were taken on Jan 22 - the first day that the huge El Nino storm that deposited 50" of snow in the high country in the northern part of the state.  While having lunch in Naco that afternoon, I noticed a huge white cloud in the shape of a roll off to the east and partially obscured behind the mountains.  It was unlike anything I've ever seen before.  The sky was filled with multiple fast-moving clouds and storm cells accompanied by wind.

After we got back home, I got my camera and headed out east to the Double Adobe area and down the dirt road.  The wind was unbelievably fierce, and I had to use considerable effort to preven the car door from being blown open and possibly suffering damaged hinges as I got out.  I was out for about 10 min, and decided the wind was too much, so drove back into town and south of Warren. 

Here are a few select photos from that day.  If I'd had more time, I'd have thought to get some photos for a pano of the huge roll cloud.  Even with my lens at its widest angle setting, there was no way I could capture the full cloud in a single shot - it literally extended for probably 40 miles or maybe more. 

Roll Cloud
The accompanying clouds to the top and side of the main cloud give the impression of fins, and that this cloud is swimming through the sky.
To the North
This view shows the northern view of the cloud.  Note how it dwarfs the distal mountains by its sheer size.
Not-So-Smooth Sailing
This wide-angle shot shows the surface of the main cloud with its smooth, white side.  The grasses show the direction of the wind.
Where Road and Rainbow Meet
South of Bisbee, the wind was considerably calmer, and I was lucky to get a capture of this fleeting rainbow.
A Dramatic Sky
The omnipresent roll cloud is seen in the distance, while darker clouds cast shadows on the lower hills of the Mules.

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