ICYMI Sept 19…Antisolar Rays & Belt of Venus /90° Days/Baseball Sized Hail

Severe storms were in the forecast for this afternoon and evening, but little to nothing materialized. The reason for that is because of what is called a CAP. This is small layer of the atmosphere that is warmer and it prevented the air from rising quickly.

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The high temperature today was 89 degrees in Cedar Rapids. I went back and looked to see how often does a high temperature of 90 degrees get reached in September at Cedar Rapids. Well, on this date is has done eight times. The chart below shows the calendar day at the bottom and temperature on the left. Each bar shows the number of days the temperature reached 90 or higher on that particular day. So again, on the 19th it was 90 or warmer 8 times on that day. Notice how fast the frequency drops off toward the end of the month…not very often.
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Here is a look at how much rain has fallen so far this month across Iowa.
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There is a great web page very interesting photos and descriptions of why things look the way they do. Les Cowley puts off of this information on the web page. There is a section called Optics Picture of the Day. I learn something new every time I go the web page. The photo is just one example of some great photos on there. Here is the link.
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On September 18, 2002 a storm producing baseball size hail with wind gusts to 70-80 mph in Jackson County. Click here for more details on this event.
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Posted under Optics, Precipitation Totals, Severe Weather, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on September 19, 2016

Sundogs, Parhelia, Mock Suns

Click here to see how these form.

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This post was written by Schnack on January 7, 2015

Halo

Did you see the halo around the sun this afternoon due to the cirrus clouds (high thin clouds made of ice crystals)? This photo was taken and sent to us by Amy O’Brien.

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Posted under Optics

This post was written by Schnack on May 5, 2014

Sundogs Monday Morning

 

Click here to see how sundogs form.

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This post was written by Schnack on January 27, 2014

Halo Around the Sun

The photo below shows a halo around the sun. It was taken this morning by Kathy McCoy.

Halo

The image below shows a halo around the sun in addition to a sundog on the left side. The sundog on the right is not there because of clouds. The photo was taken by Danny Murphy.

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Posted under Optics, Photo

This post was written by Schnack on January 21, 2014

Moon Dogs and Sun Dogs

In the last 24 hours we have had the chance to see a lot “dogs” in the sky. In the last few weeks Sun Dogs have been seen. Something that is not as common is a Moon Dog. The Moon Dogs are formed the same way as Sun Dogs are, but the light source is the moon not the sun. Jan 17 Moon Dogs Jan 17 Sun Dog

 

Click here to see how the “dogs” form.

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This post was written by Schnack on January 17, 2014

Sundogs This Morning

Click here to see how sundogs form.

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This post was written by Schnack on January 6, 2014

Light Pillars

When you were out this evening did you see the lights “shooting” up into the sky? Those are called light pillars. They form as light is reflected by horizontal ice crystals. Here is photo from Josie Petersen taken in Cedar Falls.

Dec 30 Light Pillar

 

The photo below is from East Dubuque, IL taken by Lori Junk.

Dec 30 Pillar 34

Click the image below to get a more technical description as to how they form.

Dec 30 Pillar 2

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Posted under Optics, Photo

This post was written by Schnack on December 30, 2013

Sundogs Monday, December 23

Click here to learn how sundogs form.

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Posted under Optics, Photo

This post was written by Schnack on December 27, 2013

Sundogs Today

I have many photos sent to me each day on my Facebook page, Twitter and by email. Today most of the photos were of the sundogs seen this morning and this afternoon.

Here is the short answer as to how they form. Sundogs are the “rainbow” like lights on either side of the rising sun or setting sun. The sun needs to be low in the sky. So that means the best time to view sundogs would early in the morning or late in the afternoon. There also needs to be  high thin clouds (cirrus) overhead. The cirrus clouds are made of ice crystals.  The crystals refract the sun’s rays.

Here is a link for the more technical answer to how they form. Click here

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Posted under Optics, Photo

This post was written by Schnack on January 31, 2013