Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Stormy Sky

Monday (05/03) was as pretty as day as we've seen all spring: warm (76), calm and with constant sunshine. Throughout the day I watched as a cold front began digging into Illinois and firing up storms. The National Weather Service said we'd have our turn toward nightfall.
The pictures I've posted below were taken within a mere three minute period. The first of the seven was taken at 8:26 p.m.; the last was taken at 8:29 p.m.
In this first picture, I'm facing west towards the oncoming storm. The worst will skirt north of here.

This shot turns and looks to the southwest as the angry clouds gather.

Then, looking southeast, the clouds begin to tear and swirl in a three-dimensional effect that was absolutely dizzying. Looks like tornado weather, doesn't it?

I am standing in the middle of the backyard at 7:27 p.m. and I turn and look directly overhead for this shot. The layers of clouds are in constant motion, different levels sliding different directions. The sky is dark and light at the same time. And still not a drop of rain falls. As I stand there in my pajamas and robe, the wind is cold as it gusts. Still, the thermometer reads in the 60's so perhaps it is a sensation of fear?

Looking northwest, roughly towards Dayton, the wind whistles as the spring day winds down to a cool, wet night.

Looking south, the sky has darkened by degrees. It is now 8:28 p.m. and the sun is low. I'm taking these pictures on the camera's "auto" setting and it is choosing an increasingly longer exposure time. This makes holding the camera difficult without getting a blurry image.

Finally, I've walked around the garage and look back at Pinehaven. That's where I'm heading fast.
I slept with the window open and listened to rounds of thunderstorms pass around us. We had a mere 0.12" of rain. Sometime about midnight I got up, closed the window and crawled back into bed. The gentle rain lulled me quickly back to sleep.
I believe we dodged a bullet. This angry sky might just as well let down a tornado. But this time, the storm passed slowly to the northeast and died with the night.