Amazing Photo from Panama City, Florida, This Morning

Rich Thomas, WFLA-TV via Facebook

This is an amazing photo from Panama City this morning. No, it is not hurricane sea spray.

Let me explain what you are seeing:

If you’ve even been on an airplane when the humidity is high, you have probably seen cloud or cloud fragments on the top of a wing. This is due to the pressure falling (causing the humidity to rise to 100%) as the air travels over the top of the wing faster than the air under the wing. That drop in pressure lifts the wing and the entire plane.

So, in this case, the ambient outdoor humidity was just below 100%. When the air is forced to accelerate over the hotels, the humidity goes up to 100% just like it does over a wing.

I’ve never seen this before with hotels. Really cool shot.

ADDITION: Found a photo of cloud over the top of wings.

A full explanation is here.

New Weather Photography Web Site

In the first “Greensburg” chapter of Warnings, I mention Mike Umscheid, the National Weather Service meteorologist who issued their warning for the town. That warning was credited with saving many lives.

Mike is a talented weather photographer and has launched a new web site for his photography. One of his photos of the Campo, Colorado, tornado hangs above our piano.

Click here to see some great weather photography that you might wish to give as a Christmas gift.

Terrific Time Lapse

This is a wonderful time-lapse of Topeka’s near miss with a potential devastating tornado (and the clouds looked like last night’s in Wichita). Of course, later that evening, the fatal Reading, KS tornado occurred to the south and the next day was Joplin, so the Topeka storm faded quickly from memory.

Some Great Storm Photos

If you were reading Meteorological Musings Sunday you read about the tornadic storm that moved across northern Oklahoma and southeast Kansas. There are some great photos of that storm posted here.

I especially like Donovan Gruner’s photo of the shallow hail fog across the road with the majestic thunderstorm in the background.

Mike’s Photography

One of a sequence of seven downburst photos taken by Mike in 1979 that confirmed the existence of downbursts.
We are pleased that Jones & Bartlett Learning will be using Mike’s downburst photo sequence in the upcoming text book, Meteorology: Understanding the Atmosphere. If you are interested in weather and environmental photography, please contact us!

Over Southern Utah

Photo by Richard Smith

This is not the ocean. It is a photo taken by my son over southern Utah earlier this week. The sun is striking the outcroppings in a way that makes them look like waves.

The End of An Era in Photography

The last roll of Kodachrome film has been processed in Parsons, Kansas, the final lab that handled the unique slide film. The Parsons Sun reports via the Wichita Eagle

McCurry told Dwayne’s vice president Grant Steinle how he had chosen to shoot the last roll of Kodachrome produced by Eastman Kodak by capturing images around New York.

“Then we went to India, where I photographed a tribe that is actually on the verge of extinction. It’s actually disappearing, the same way as Kodachrome,” he told Steinle.

Kodak announced last year that it would retire Kodachrome, a brand name of color reversal film it had manufactured since 1935. McCurry, well-known for his 1984 photograph of Sharbat Gula, or the “Afghan Girl,” published on the cover of National Geographic magazine, requested from Kodak to shoot the last roll of 36 frames it manufactured.



I began shooting Kodachrome after I took a photography class at OU. Loved it! Paul Simon was right when he sang,

Kodachrome gives you the nice bright colors,
Gives us the greens of summer,
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah!

But, now, they’ve “taken our Kodachrome away.” 

Out the Back Door – Heavy Rain and Hail

This is heavy rain and hail falling at the Smith House. I shot the flash so the hailstones would be visible (the thicker gray streaks).

The hailstones were about 5/8″ in diameter. You can see one splashing at lower right and a second at upper center. Photos taken about 6:45pm.

As the storm was moving in, Kathleen and I heard a couple of small planes fly over. Our feathered friends have better sense. 

Andrew, Part II

If you page down you will see my nephew Andrew Vogliardo’s (pictured in front of the 120+ year-old one room school house at the Tallgrass National Preserve) photos of the Flint Hills. I promised a Part II and here it is. The following photographs are Andrew’s…

Stone Fence
Lookin’ out for the toddler
New Growth

This field was burned eight days before. In just that amount of time, new prairie grass is already appearing.

Nice work, Andrew!

Guest Photographer, Andrew Vogliardo

My nephew, Andrew Vogliardo, is going to study photography at Kansas State University in the fall.  Like me, he also enjoys trains. So, we met in Cottonwood Falls and spent the day taking pictures in the Flint Hills. The following photographs are Andrew’s. Click to enlarge any of them.

The colors of the Flint Hills.

Kansas 177 – The Flint Hills Scenic Byway.

The Flint Hills are the summer home of literally hundreds of thousands of head of cattle where they graze on the rich prairie grass and roam the wide open spaces.  Don’t think cattle can gallop? Just watch them when they are being released from the cattle truck into the wide open Flint Hills!

We’ll have more from Andrew later.  Thanks, Nephew!