For the last decade, Kansas-based photographer Chad Cowan has driven almost 100,000 miles across the United States chasing powerful supercell thunderstorms and recording them in high definition. The endeavor began as a personal project to capture a few storms as they developed but quickly grew into a full-blown obsession. Cowan has recorded hundreds of storms and condensed the highlights into this short film titled Fractal with editing help from Kevin X Barth. He shares about the nature of thunderstorms:
The ingredient based explanation for supercell thunderstorms cites moisture, wind shear, instability and lift as the reasons for their formation. I prefer to focus on the big picture. Supercell thunderstorms are a manifestation of nature’s attempt to correct an extreme imbalance. The ever ongoing effort to reach equilibrium, or viscosity, is what drives all of our weather, and the force with which the atmosphere tries to correct this imbalance is proportional to the gradient. In other words, the more extreme the imbalance, the more extreme the storm.
You can see more of Cowan’s storm photography on his website and on Instagram. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
Although rare, full cloud inversions are something we know well here, covering the same phenomena over the last few years both here and here. This particular timelapse video by filmmaker Harun Mehmedinovic captures how beautifully the descending clouds imitate waves when trapped within the Grand Canyon, undulating against the uppermost edges of the natural wonder’s deep valley.
The video was filmed as a part of SKYGLOW, a crowdfunded project that seeks to explore the effects of urban light pollution by examining some of the darkest skies across North America. You can see breathtaking stills from the video, which originally premiered on BBC Earth, below. (via PetaPixel)
All photos courtesy John Kucko.
Last weekend photographer John Kucko received a tip about a house in Webster, New York that had become encased in ice after a winter storm swept through the area. Arriving on the scene he found what you see here, a resident’s summer home swallowed entirely by wind-swept icicles and sheets of ice. Kucko shares with Colossal that the building rests just 20 feet from the rocky shores of Lake Ontario where winds recorded up to 81mph caused the waves to crash against the small home. You can see a few recent video updates on his Facebook page. (via Twisted Sifter)
Regan, North Dakota, 2011
Photographer Mitch Dobrowner travels the U.S. and sets up his camera in front of apocalyptic storms that rise above rural fields in Oklahoma, Kansas, and North Dakota. Inspired by photographers like Minor White and Ansel Adams, he captures breathtaking landscapes that remind us of nature’s raw power by juxtaposing the endless flat plains of the southern and midwest states with dramatic weather formations. Lightning strikes and tornadoes feature heavily in Dobrowner’s black and white images that at times look like moments right out of the first few minutes of the Wizard of Oz.
Dobrowner has exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and internationally since 2005 and is represented by Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe and Kopeikin Gallery in LA. You can see much more of his work on Facebook. (thnx, Laura!)
Vortex Over Field, 2015
Strata Storm and Bales, 2015
Last night a cold front rolled through Chicago, and lucky for us art consultant Amy King was on the lakefront and stopped to shoot an amazing 5-second timelapse as a low-hanging roll cloud moved ominously down the shoreline. So, what’s a roll cloud? Meteorologist Cheryl Scott explains:
What is a Roll Cloud and how does it form? It’s a low, horizontal, tube-shaped cloud. It is formed by winds changing speed/direction when the air temperature reverses its state (resulting in warm air on top of cool air). The shear in the atmosphere sets up a rolling motion, think [of a] rolling pin used in a baking.
You can read a bit more about roll clouds—also called an Arcus Cloud—on Wikipedia. (via @kingartcollective)
Photos by Jerry Ferguson, with help of pilot Andrew Park.
While helicopter pilot Andrew Park was flying over Phoenix this week, photographer Jerry Ferguson captured what appears to be a giant foreboding mushroom cloud hanging over the city. In actuality the scene is a weather cluster called a “microburst,” a phenomenon that occurs when cooled air from a thunderstorm rushes to the ground and spreads over the land at speeds over 100 miles per hour causing a powerful and centralized air current.
Ferguson captured the sight while filming the weather for a local TV station. A timelapse video by Bryan Snider shows the same microburst from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, the camera positioned at what looks like just a couple hundred feet from the center of the storm. (via Mashable)