Awesomulonimbus Clouds

Here is something which you could have seen if you were in Chicago on July 10th, 2008. Which, circumstance of circumstances, I was! I popped in somewhere for a restroom break, and it was super nice out.

When I popped back out (that’s how I enter and leave buildings — popping), I saw this bad boy coming at me real fast:

That is a wall of solid storm comin atcha.

It could be CG, but it's so not.  It is real.

Right after I pulled out my camera, I felt the wind picking up quite a bit and heard tornado sirens whir to life. I only had time to snag those two shots before it was overhead.

These are known as struthionimbus clouds.

It was a large overhanging Shelf of Swirling Stormy Darkness. It was moving incredibly fast and super low, and the coulds right behind it were very confused, swirling around like crazy.

This formation is known as a cumuloswirlus cloud.

What you miss in these shots is the amazing moving 3-D-ness of all of this.

Another shot of some spinnostratus clouds.

Actually, after the initial wall passed, the cloads went up quite a ways. I felt like I was in a giant cloud dome.

A frisbee!  That's the simile I want.  It looks like a giant dangerous cloud frisbee.

During these shots the wind was starting to whip things about, and it became markedly cooler. Not long after the above shot, the rain began to start. I’ll leave you with perhaps my favorite shot:

This combination of spinnostratus and cumuloswirlus clouds is called an altocirronimbulus.

Just thought you all might enjoy seeing this.

4 thoughts on “Awesomulonimbus Clouds

  1. That is cumulostruthioswirrulously awesome Zach!! I had no idea my camera was capable of taking such amazing pictures. hehehe Don’t you like how I’m giving all the credit to the device and not the Device Wielder? Speaking of, that’d be a cool title for someone to have. I’m glad you weathered the weather all right. No giant tornado sucking you up off to Oz? But you could have recorded little Munchkins singing for your project. Oh well, better luck next time. Melissa’ll have to see these pictures. They are so incredible. What power, beauty, danger, form, etc. Or, if I were to use an Aussie accent: “Look at the size of ’em! This colouration is just fantastic! What a beauty! Better watch out though – these little buggers will turn around and bite your ‘ead off!” Couldn’t resist. 😀 Hope things are going well for you, and that you’re managing to get some sleep amongst all the music and food. Can’t wait to see you again after Leaf Primero.

  2. Great contorting Cloud Masses, Batman! I would have loved to see that storm system! You captured some great shots, though it’s never quite the same without the wind and the sirens. Plus you need a wide angle or panoramic view to get everything. I’m glad you didn’t encounter any hail or tornadoes.

    Nice blog page, by the by!

  3. I searched to see if there is an actual town called Oz but couldn’t find one. If it existed, I would definitely go there.

    For a complete viewing experience, try this. Take a powerful fan to a bank. Plug in the fan and have it blowing on you while loudly threatening to blow up the bank. Then take out your laptop and start viewing these pictures. The sirens should start shortly, completing your viewing experience.

    Zach Bardon, Device Wielder

  4. Nice shots, Zach. They’ve got me really wishing I could have taken you up on the offer to be your road trip photographer. 😉

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