Posts Tagged ‘storm


just high enough…


into the wind…

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” Willa Cather

(Pirate’s Cove, Oregon Coast by SwittersB)



the sky is dark, the wind is picking up…




sun rays-storm clouds-Oregon-Gorge-SwittersB

Life, positive, negative, perspective, hiding, seeking, storm clouds, sun’s rays


Transitions can be subtle…

The image below doesn’t seem to depict much in the way of being volatile or powerful. Yet, this image was as the weather transitioned from a few gusts of wind to, for the next several hours, sustained forty mile per hour winds with gusts pushing 70 mph in Portland and at 90 mph on the Oregon Coast. The front pushed up the Oregon Coast into Washington, skirting Portland, with nary a raindrop in Portland and temps in the low 60’s. 100,0000 residences were without power; traffic signals went out snarling rush hour/holiday shoppers traffic; and in one tragic moment a tree fell killing an 11 year old boy in a car and injuring his mother. Not a huge weather event, but the transition below was a perfect image of darkness over taking light.



Columbus Day Storm, 1962…Portland, Oregon

I recall no warning. In those days, we were not glued to techno notifications. My Mom was making dinner, my Dad was at work. The boys in the neighborhood were outside playing football after school. I remember where I was in the back yard. The sky took on an odd yellow, green, purple color. The winds picked up. As we threw the football, the pressure change is etched in my mind. Almost instantly, it seemed, a powerful wind unlike any other I have experienced in life, literally seemed to suck shingles off roofs and hold them in the air. Mothers came out of back doors and yelled for their children to come indoors.

Jacobs Ladder

Unearthly rays emanating from the point opposite the setting sun half hour before storm of Oct. 12, 1962 hit. Weather Bureau explains these as “Crepuscular rays, caused by sun shining through breaks in clouds, illuminating dust particles in air.” Similar phenomenon is sometimes called “Jacob’s Ladder,” because it seems to come down from heaven. Picture was taken by Mrs. Charles W. Myers from her room on top floor of Park Plaza, 1929 S.W. Park Ave. 4:40 P.M.

There was a sense of urgency. Perhaps something was being mentioned on radios playing in the house. I don’t know. Dads came home. Suddenly we were in the basement. To this day, I can’t imagine how my parents knew beyond their prior rural lives in Wisconsin or West Virginia. And for the next 15 hours we hunkered in the basement, beneath the stairs, in the dark as a roar went on and on. I recall my Dad venturing up the stairs, only briefly, and retreating beneath the stairs. The three of us, sat leaning back against the wall and listened to what had to be the world ending. I was 14 (yes I am that old!) and I still remember wondering what the neighborhood would look like when the dark went away. 


This was a familiar find in the morning, in our neighborhood. Not only were all the trees blown over, almost every one lost their chimney. I recall the sound of our chimney toppling over and hitting the driveway above us.

I know tornadoes and hurricanes and typhoons ravage regions often. But, in the Pacific NW, this is still the storm all other storms are measured by in this region and it still reigns supreme 52 years later! The winds gusts, sustained winds at times, hit 117 mph that night in Portland, as much as 179 mph on the Oregon Coast (Cape Blanco). Every tree along our street was laying this way and that in the morning. Dozens of Birch and Maple trees crisscrossed the street, wires down, and most amazing to me then, the sun shined bright. Men took saws and axes to try and clear the street. No one had a chain saw. None of those trees were ever replaced to this day.

Columbus Day 1 docudharma

In the end, 46 people died. By today’s monetary standards, the storm damage runs to $3-4 billion dollars in damage. Enough trees to build 1,ooo,ooo million homes were destroyed from the Pacific ocean shore as far as Montana…15 billion board feet of timber. Nothing has since equaled it in this region, let alone much of the country. 


Brooding High Desert

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ~Ansel Adams

“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” ~Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Nature never goes out of style.” ~Tink

clouds-desert-Oregon-SwittersB-Tony Muncy~

clouds-desert-storm-brooding-Oregon-Tony Muncy-SwittersB


Big Seas off Ireland & the Little, Squeaky Windshield Wiper

I was watching this video off the south coast of Ireland and about half way through I noticed I was feeling a bit nauseus. I do not do well with rolling seas. In Alaska, I would have to practice mind control during mild swells while fishing out of Sitka. You can move forward to about 3:30 in the video to capture the best of the little windshield wiper doing its best in big seas and 100 mph winds.



Photography: Last Chance, Colorado

What a powerful, impressive photograph Cameron!

Cameron M. Redwine

June 13, 2013: Last Chance, Colorado

Above: Outflow winds from a severe thunderstorm kick up a wall of blowing dirt near Last Chance, Colorado on June 13, 2013.

I, along with several other Colorado chasers, tracked this storm through Last Chance in an attempt to get back in front of it. The blowing dirt reduced visibility so much, I didn’t think it would be photographically fruitful to continue north. I turned around to get out of the dust, and this scene is what I saw when I emerged.

An interesting feature are the two ground circulations in the middle of the frame. They are, quite arguably, gustnadoes, which are small non-tornadic circulations with no connection to the cloud. What made these interesting is that they were less ragged and larger than most gustnadoes I’ve seen, and the one on the left had a faint tube extending up and disappearing into the dust. That raises my suspicion…

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