Thursday, September 27, 2012

09/17/12 A Few Foggy Mornings

The first signs of fall foliage on a foggy
September morning in Peoria, IL

Over the last couple of weeks there have been a few opportunities for myself to head outdoors to take in some fall photography. This post I've included a handful of shots from a couple of early fall mornings over the last couple of weeks that featured some valley fog that was dense in some areas. These scenes are pretty typical this time of the year as we often have cool nights and warm days during September and October. I've added some photos that I shot using the dense and/or valley fog to capture some landscapes recently below:

Just before sunrise can give you some
excellent low-light photography...
 A very foggy morning in Peoria, IL on 09/17/12...
 Valley fog in rural-Stark County, IL on 09/14/12...
 Valley fog burning off at this local wind farm in
rural Stark County, IL...
Fall colors amidst this ghostly cemetery!
A wind turbine poking through the fog...
 Dense fog and heavy dew will provide beautiful
scenes like this if a spider spins its web...
 Nearly symmetrical lily pads at a local park!
 A great morning to fish!
 Another early morning shot at my parent's house...
 Fog burning-off as I arrive at this wind farm!
 Ghostly fog at a cemetery tends to creep people out...
 Someone was busy overnight...
 Cirrus clouds as the sun comes up in the east!
 One of my favorite shots on this morning in Peoria, IL...
 The sun (right) trying to poke through the fog!
 More valley fog...
 Pretty cool to see the last of the fog burn-off
right before your eyes!
 Another favorite of the bunch!
Last one as I call it a morning...

That's all for now. I have another post I'm working on from last week that nearly provided me a fall "surprise" as I was storm chasing in central Illinois last Friday. Stay tuned for that later post.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

09/07/12 September Elevated Convection

Elevated convection trying to become
surface-based outside Lincoln, IL

On September 7th, I started the day in my hometown of Kewanee, IL. It seemed the "consensus" was that a Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) would form in Iowa the previous night and head into west-central Illinois near sunrise. Elevated convection formed in eastern Iowa as expected before sunrise and began to head into west-central Illinois so I was already out photographing by 5:00am. I found myself setting up in my parent's backyard knowing I was possibly chasing later in the day across central Illinois. I captured some CG's from this elevated convection as it approached Kewanee, IL. I ended up seeing a nice shelf at sunrise, but poor lighting and raindrops killed my chances to photograph it to my standards. If I had been at my apartment in Peoria, IL I would have fared much better seen here. By early morning, I was already arriving back in Peoria, IL to analyze the afternoon chase potential. I was in a box on this day as I couldn't go far as I had to work early on Saturday so I chose to play around most of the afternoon with elevated convection in central Illinois near Lincoln, IL and hope something would go crazy and become surface-based. It may have not been what I was thinking or hoping for, but I was able to capture some photogenic convection that was elevated along I-55 outside Lincoln, IL. This convection was trying to become surface-based. This area was characterized by 1,000J/kg of CAPE, 0-6km shear at 50kts, and the presence of a moist boundary-layer with dew points near 65°F. After realizing it just wasn't gonna happen on this day with lingering convection an issue I headed back to Peoria, IL by early evening. I've added photos and a video from the "chase" day below:

Elevated convection prior to sunrise as
 it approached Kewanee, IL...
 Probably the best of this bunch...
 Early-afternoon elevated convection along I-55...
 Elevated, but about to get a little more interesting!
 This storm having a tough time becoming
surface-based at this time...
 Much better looking at this point! (30 minutes later)
You can actually see the updraft nicely tilted (left)...
Low-CAPE/high shear environment!
 Picturesque elevated convection looking southwest
with a rain foot!
 One last shot as I throw in the towel!
I've added a YouTube time-lapse (above)

That's all for now. I'm already looking forward to fall photos here in the coming weeks. Hopefully, like year's past I'll find some time to check out a few local destinations to observe some fall colors over the next month.

Friday, September 14, 2012

09/05/12 Shelf Cloud at Sunrise

Stormy skies near sunrise at the apartment
complex in Peoria, IL

On September 5th, I woke up early near sunrise to capture some convection that was moving in from the northwest. This Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) sent out a nice gust front with its shelf cloud at sunrise followed by another shelf cloud ahead of the main line of convection. This MCS quickly dissipated however as it approached Peoria, IL but I was able to grab a couple of photos out of the morning. The morning convection complicated the forecast though as I was eyeballing a possible afternoon chase the previous night based off some of the numerical weather models. Unfortunately, the morning convection put a "lid" on things so to speak during the afternoon on this day. I've added a couple of photos however that I shot from the morning below:

First shelf cloud (right) followed by this overtaking
shelf cloud (left) at sunrise...
I captured a few decent scenes as the stormy skies
were overhead of the apartment complex for some time...
Shelf cloud (left) passing over the apartment complex...

I was hoping to chase later in the afternoon on this day, but the "cap" (warm-layer aloft) put a lid on any worthy convection during the afternoon and evening so I stayed put. I did chase "briefly" a couple days later however. Stay tuned for that later post.

09/02/12 Hurricane Isaac's Remnants

Hurricane Isaac's remnants at this wind
farm outside Camp Grove, IL

A couple weeks ago, we made a huge dent in the drought across central Illinois as Hurricane Isaac's remnants tracked across the Midwest and central Illinois providing soaking rains and even a few weak tornadoes. I missed the tornadoes as I was working when it appeared that things were going to get interesting. Story of 2012 for myself and most. Anyhow, I was able to make it out a day later after work to capture a few scenes of the departing rains from Isaac at a local wind farm and have added a few photos below:

The rain-dance worked a couple weeks ago!
 The last of the showers from Isaac...
 A rather stormy-view looking east at
the departing rains!

That's all for now. We couldn't buy a drop of rain all summer and ended up getting some drought-denting rains from Isaac and a few more storm systems provided some beneficial rain as well. More posts to come.

08/25/12 Thunder...One Year Later

Thunder, now 1-year old hanging out at
my apartment in Peoria, IL

Over the last month, I have shot a few photos of my pet Thunder marking his "growth" one year later after being adopted. He is no longer a kitten as he is all grown-up. It's quite interesting to compare the photos exactly 1 year apart seen here. He was weighed at 11lbs at his last check-up earlier this month. Thunder is still as energetic as he was when I first picked him out of the bunch of course even though he's no longer a kitten. He still always finds time to play around with his toys, absolutely loves raindrops hitting the window, and most of all goes crazy watching snowflakes in the winter months. Sounds like a weather watcher to me. I've added a few photos below that were among my favorites:

Sometimes it's harder to get "people" to
pose for the camera as good as this cat does...
 Absolutely adorable right?
 He's quite a photogenic cat!
 A cool shot here with the "blurred" background...
 One of his "lazy days"...
 Close-up of the trouble-maker!
 Another great shot of Thunder hanging out...

That will wrap up this short post. I'm working on a few other posts from the past few weeks. Stay tuned for those.