Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sky Watch No.11

Lesson prepared and photograph taken
(aka Jennifer Bilak)

Following on from last it's time for lesson two. I have chosen an Arcus Cloud, specifically a Shelf Cloud.

Shelf cloud A shelf cloud is a low, horizontal wedge-shaped arcus cloud. A shelf cloud is attached to the base of the parent cloud (usually a thunderstorm). Rising cloud motion often can be seen in the leading (outer) part of the shelf cloud, while the underside often appears turbulent and wind-torn. Occasionally people see a shelf cloud and think they have seen a wall cloud, which is an easy mistake, since an approaching shelf cloud appears to form a wall made of cloud. Generally speaking, a shelf cloud appears on the leading edge of a storm, and a wall cloud will usually be at the rear of the storm. ~source

This specific cloud produced a monstrous sand storm that embedded sand in my scalp... It was incredibly beautiful. What a thrilling experience!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sky Watch No.10

Today we have something a bit different... instead of the usual Sky Watch intro we thought we'd ask our very own Sky Watch 'Storm Chaser' (DEWDROP) to come up with a simple lessons on cloud formations... I'm sure there will be some who know all this already but it's always good to share knowledge and I'm convinced that these posting will be well received. So it's over to Dewdrop to start the ball rolling.

It is such an honor to be a part of such a wonderful, worldwide blogging phenomenon, as Sky Watch "Fridays". Through this wonderful event and all the phenomenal participants, we get the rare privilege of viewing skies all across the globe. Because of Sky Watch "Fridays", we have people everywhere looking at the sky and appreciating its beauty and wonder, what a magnificent work of art... I was honored when Tom, our wonderful co-host, asked me to prepare a Sky Watch series of lessons, helping everyone to learn a little something about what they are seeing. For lesson one, I have chosen a Cumulonimbus Cloud Structure, specifically Cumulonimbus Calvus.

Cumulonimbus calvus is a moderately tall cumulonimbus cloud which is capable of precipitation, but has not yet reached the height where it forms into a cumulonimbus capillatus (fibrous-top) or cumulonimbus incus (anvil-top). Cumulonimbus calvus develops from cumulus congestus, and its further development under auspicious conditions will result in cumulonimbus capillatus. This cloud consists mainly of water droplets. By definition of cumulonimbus cloud, at its top water droplets are transformed into ice crystals, but for cumulonimbus calvus content of ice crystals is small and freezing is in early stage, so cloud top still looks round and puffy. Cumulonimbus calvus is characterized by distinctive (between other types of cumulonimbus cloud) rounded shape and relatively sharp edges of its top area, unlike cumulonimbus incus or cumulonimbus capillatus, which have cirriform tops. Developing cumulonimbus calvus loses sharp outlines of the top as more water droplets transform into ice crystals. Strong updrafts may form pileus or thin vertical stripes protruding upwards out of the cloud. When upper part of the cloud freezes to greater extent and clearly visible cirriforms appears, cumulonimbus calvus turns into another species of Cumulonimbus .

This specific cloud produced a lovely light show with a full hour of cloud to cloud lightning filling its insides. Lesson prepared and photograph taken by Dewdrop (aka Jennifer Bilak)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sky Watch No. 9

This weeks guest is Scotty Graham

Blogging can be a lonely world when starting out. At first, only family drops by to see your photo of the day or to read what is going on in your world. Sometimes, an occasional friend stops by for a brief visit. Then, as time goes on, someone special drops in by mistake. That someone special for me was the famous man from Portugal, Quint. You all know Quint…he has visited all of you at some time and left a touching, personal note. I don’t know how Quint found my blog, but he liked what he saw, visited me daily, commented, and then told his friends about me. Soon after, another special person dropped by to visit and have a look….that was Tom…and you all know which “Tom” I am talking about…Quint and Tom quickly became by best blogging buddies. Shortly after, I was introduced to Skywatch Friday. The rest, as they say, is history…

Skywatch Friday is not just about posting and showing your favorite photos of the sky. It is about people. This small community (growing leaps and bounds) of 300 or so folks is a remarkable collection of people from all over the world…truly nice people from all walks of life. I wake up every Friday at 1:30am (due to my time zone), turn on my computer, and wait for my very slow internet connection to sign-on to Tom’s site for another addition of Skywatch Friday. When I get there, there are already 20 or more eager people on the list ready for Skywatch. Why the rush? Well, because we all can’t wait to visit each other and see what is in store...a quick trip around the world, and a chance to meet new friends….it is something that I really look forward to every week. Blogging is no longer a lonely world thanks to Skywatch Friday!

So, this week, I am honored to be your guest “greeter”…thanks Tom, Klaus (another great blogging buddy), Sandy and imac for the opportunity. As Tom says every week, make an effort to visit new people on the list, give them a warm welcome, and don’t forget to visit your old friends from time to time to say, “Hello” and to see their sky in their little piece of the world. I hope to meet all of you some day, stop by for a visit any time…

My Skywatch photo below is one of my favorites…Funny story about this photo…I had set up my tripod ready for the sunrise…it was freezing, and I had to set up my camera on a dangerous ledge overlooking the crater. I took a few hundred shots, using my arsenal of lenses, and none came out very well. On the way down the mountain, I pulled over to the side of the road, and quickly snapped this photo hand held. It turned out to be the best shot of the day…so much for all the preparation…

Scotty Graham
Have a great weekend!!
Scotty Graham

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sky Watch No.8

This weeks Guest Intro was written by Gailsman

"The sky. We all have one above us, no matter where we are in the world. Besides air and water, the sky is one of the few things on planet Earth that shows no discrimination. Rich; poor; black; white; genius or dunce, that blue band that stops the air from floating out into space is exactly the same, whether you're living in Sydney like Sally, Brookville like Abraham Lincoln, Jilly in Monte Carlo or Nottingham like me. The only difference is the type of weather that it brings to us. Sunshine, rain, snow or wind. We get it all. The big difference is how much and when. Perhaps we should stop looking upwards and moaning about what the day is like, but thank the sky for those white clouds that aren't dark. Hiding the sun from the parched ground, or bringing snow, so someone can enjoy being out in it. So what photo to show? Most people seem to think that there's nothing like the English countryside. The colours, the trees, the landscape. So that's what I'm showing you all in this introduction. Look at it, then take a look at your own sky and think about why it's there and what it means to you."