Transient


Image result for dustin farrell transient

Transient – mesmerizing, primal, inspirational, humbling, freaking incredible. Filmmaker /photographer Dustin Farrel spent the summer of 2017 traveling 20,000 miles around the United States of America capturing lightening strikes at 1,000 frames per second.

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/12/transient-lighting-film-dustin-farrell/

There Is Peace Even In The Storm


“There is peace even in the storm” – Vincent Van Gogh

Involuntary elation is a thing of beauty. We all harbor exhilaration triggers, a uniquely personal, undeniably human emotional response to unexpected experiences. One of my earliest childhood memories is an emotional response to severe weather. A oppressively hot summer afternoon dotted with ritual counting of seconds between lightening strike and thunderous percussion. Inclement perfection culminating in the mother of all thunderstorms. To this day every hair on my body stands in awe of stormy punctuation.

Asperitas


For the first time in over 50 years, skies are officially cloudier. This year maestros of meteorologic whimsy, conduits of foreboding trepidation and petticoats of nature’s fancy were asked to make room for Asperitas at the head table. Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society inducted Asperitas into the International Cloud Atlas hall of fame. A monumental achievement in science clouded by genre, subsection, supplementary features and special circumstance.

https://cloudatlas.wmo.int/clouds-supplementary-features-asperitas.html

Gavin Pretor-Pinney defined Asperitas as –

… localized waves in the cloud base, either smooth or dappled with smaller features, sometimes descending into sharp points, as if viewing a roughened sea surface from below. Varying levels of illumination and thickness of cloud can lead to dramatic visual effects.

An asperitas formation over Ballstad, Vestvagoy, Lofoten islands, north of Norway.

If by chance you happen upon undulating clouds that resemble rough seas if viewed from below – shout a hearty welcome to Asperitas, the first cloud formation recognized in half a century.

Salty State Of Emergency


Vancouver B.C. has declared a salty state of emergency. Retail outlets sold out snow shovels and ice melt weeks ago. Ads on Craigslist offer ice melt salt for a staggering $20 – 40 a bag. Desperate citizens resort to crow bar, hammer and axe sidewalk clearing. Not once in four decades of calling Vancouver home can I recall free salt relief stations at fire-halls across the city.

Watch what happens – first clip, a minute that speaks for itself. Second video, added commentary of the evening news.

 

At first one might confuse our salt shortage with images of starving refugees swarming aid stations for grains of rice. I shudder to think of behavior in an actual emergency.

Enough With The Snow


Contrary to assumption not all Canadians thrive in winter’s slap. Those of us in south western British Columbia expect winter to follow rules. Rain forest winter needn’t be complicated, decency dictates adherence to basic guidelines – Relentless rain falls from November to February. Every six weeks or so Arctic outflow overpowers Pacific sogginess. Brief sunshine averts total despair. Temperatures plunge below freezing, we speculate on probability of rain or snow. Occasionally timing breaks monotonous rain, delivering just enough snow to ignite frenzied sales of snow shovels, salt and winter tires. Enough to cripple public transit, close schools, unleash ice bombs from suspension bridges and occupy local media until rain washes it away. Residents tolerate inconvenience because rules stipulate winter has an  obligation to keep snow on the mountains.

December 5, 2016 the first measurable snow since February 2014 invaded my space. Rain forest rules said it could stay a few days, snow made other plans. After three frosty weeks I say enough! Walking home from work tonight required nimbleness of a cat. Are you nuts rain forest winter? Fifteen harrowing minutes to walk two blocks, each step calculated to avert calamity. Thick ice, thin ice, black ice. Ice in the air, ice on the wind, ice locked snow. WTF! Photos snapped along the way can’t begin to illustrate treacherous conditions but take my word – this rain forest winter is not normal.

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Children’s Hospital parking lot near my house.

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Looking down my street.

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More car share vehicles than any city in the world is moot if they can’t pull onto a street. Down the block Car2Go suggests angle parking – it isn’t. I personally abandoned the second car four days ago, no match for thick ice under the snow.

Cloud Appreciation Society


In 2004 Gavin Pretor-Pinney of the United Kingdom formed CAS, the Cloud Appreciation Society. The following year Yahoo declared their website “the most weird and wonderful find on the internet for 2005”. As of May 2016, the society claims over 40,000 members representing 165 countries.

“We believe that clouds are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul. Indeed, all who consider the shapes they see in them will save money on psychoanalysis bills.” – from the CAS Manifesto, full document at – https://cloudappreciationsociety.org/manifesto/

Membership will set you back around $50 (annual membership plus a one time “sign-up fee”)  Sign-up fee covers postage of the CAS member package – a shiny enameled lapel pin, official certificate stating member will “henceforth seek to persuade all who’ll listen of the wonder and beauty of clouds”, and a handy pocket cloud selector. Members submit cloud wonders via the CAS app. Every morning a “cloud of the day” image is sent to member mailboxes. Member info at – https://cloudappreciationsociety.org/cas-membership-intro/

Below – November “Cloud Of The Month” photographed by James Tromans over Warwickshire, England.

Cloud of the Month - November 2016

Four images above – a selection of daily clouds.

Name That Hurricane


Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1. Prior to 1950, major hurricanes were unofficially named for city closest to landfall, officially meteorologists used longitude and latitude to identify hurricanes. In 1950 the U.S. National Hurricane Center began naming storms according to phonetic alphabet. The first hurricane was always “Able”, second “Baker”, third “Charlie” and so on. In 1953 an overhaul stemming from need to avoid repetitive use of names, resulted in female hurricanes. Another revision in 1979 spawned the practice of alternating female and male storms.

Storms are “named” when they display “circular rotation” with wind speeds of 39 miles per hour.They maintain named tropical storm status until winds reach 79 miles per hour. Above 79 mph, tropical storms keep their name with new designation of hurricane.

Today, an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization rotates six name lists over six years – named storms repeat every 6 years. The exception being catastrophic storms such as Andrew, Katrina or Sandy, extreme hurricane names “retire”, avoiding confusion should coincidence find the same named storm wreaking havoc.

This year Atlantic hurricanes will follow names – Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie, and Walter. “Alex” has come and gone, used in January’s pre-season eastern Atlantic storm.

Below – a great link…..

http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/tcp/Storm-naming.html