Thursday, July 5, 2018

CW WX Detective S1, E1


Chris Warren, Weather Detective

At any given moment, the sky is giving us little clues as to what is going on in what is an infinitely complex atmosphere. Finding and identifying those clues is one of my favorite things about the weather. Sometimes the sky is obvious, other times it is a mystery. A towering cumulonimbus in the plains or the stratus clouds associated with the marine layer along the California coast are often pretty straight forward, but not always.

The atmosphere is a fluid, so there is constant movement whether we can see it in real time or not. Putting the images in motion with video or time-lapse photography takes atmospheric investigation to a whole new level. It's like pulling back the curtain to a complex stage performance.  

One of the things that drew me to the field of meteorology is my curiosity and drive to solve the mystery of what we see in the sky. I love to look at weather images and then do my best to explain why and how the clouds formed or highlight what else the clouds may be telling us about the atmosphere. This is why I like to think of myself as a sort of weather detective.
For my very first installment of Chris Warren Weather Detective, I look at the north Georgia sky around sunset on the last Friday of June, 2018. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The First Week of Spring

Sunset and Storms

The new season begins with a nice mix of weather. On the first day of spring we are happy to officially welcome back sunset season. One of my favorite technological advancements over the past few years have been the easy to use panorama feature on my phone (I'll get into time-lapse and slo-mo later).  This pano is a reminder to always look behind you when watching the sunset. Often the sunlight will hit high clouds above the opposite horizon. 

Of course the highlight of the evening is the sun itself.

The next day storms were expected and looking at the visible satellite before leaving work got my hopes up for some storm shots at sunset. 

The sky was a bit messy and blown out at sunset. 

The storms did come. They arrived after sunset for the first great light show of the season. The lightning was frequent enough at first to use regular video and then I switched to the slo-mo feature on my phone. It takes a long time to find the lighting in slo-mo video and then after a rough edit, I slowed down some of the clips even more. Here is the finished product from about a half hour of storms. 

After a great light show, the end of the week brought a nice sundog and another great sunset. 

Spring has begun! 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Weather Highlights

Some of my favorite time lapse videos so far came in 2016. Some planned and some not. The compilation starts with a building cumulus cloud that eventually rains itself out. This was pure luck. I set up the camera hoping to get a nice sunset but instead was treated to the life cycle of a shower. Another clip I was able to plan, this is near the end of the video when I saw a snow shower heading my way and I was able to get the camera in place just in time. 
I was also fortunate to travel to some special places this past year from the Caribbean to Europe and across America so I added a few of those clips as well. 
I'm looking forward to 2017 with a lot more videos, pictures and posts! 
Happy New Year! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Almost Time Lapse Time

As 2016 comes to a close, I am compiling my favorite time lapse videos of the year. Here is my favorite from July in the greater Atlanta area. I was hoping to capture a sunset, instead I got a pleasant surprise. The building cumulus cloud eventually rains itself out. 

Here are the Atlanta weather highlights from last year.

Highlights from 2016 coming soon...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spring in Georgia

Temperatures in the 80s with showers and occasional thunderstorms. Spring in Georgia. Look to the sky and the horizon for building clouds and storms, a feast for weather hungry eyes. 
After the storms pass it may feel steamy or cooler. Sometimes both. The addition of moisture to the modest valleys where the cool waters of the Chattahoochee river flow is the perfect place to see the clouds that form on the ground, otherwise known as fog.  
And finally, after the sun gives all it can to fuel those showers and storms, it says goodnight as the clouds slowly deflate into the darkening sky. 

Spring in Georgia. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Clouds on the Wing

This was a flight out of Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport on the morning of Saturday, August 9th.  I watched arriving planes coming out of the clouds and it looked like their wings were on fire, completely covered in smoke. That of course, was not the case. The planes were making clouds. When my flight took off I started recording with my iphone and it started just before I hit record.  Watch the wing carefully you can’t see the entire wing until after the cloud clears as the plane passes through the low cloud layer. 


Basically what is happening here is the water vapor in the very humid air condenses because as the air speeds up over the top part of the wing it leads to lower pressure and thus cooler air. The air is cooled enough to reach the dew point forming a cloud.