Friday, January 04, 2008

Fun with weather...on my way to work the other day I noticed the rising sun looked like a spotlight coming up out of the ground. I managed to get a picture while driving (not recommended :), and after some research at the NOAA Weather Library, I discovered what this phenomenon is called: "Sun Pillar
A bright column above or below the sun produced by the reflection of sunlight from ice crystals."
Cool! This was confirmed further with a lookup in their weather glossary page. If you ever get a chance, take the time to peruse the weather library. They have many cool and historical weather photos, like this ice storm from 1921! I find this kind of information to be not just interesting, but comforting when I feel that my weather is the "worst ever" at any given time...cuz' it sure isn't!

Update:While enjoying the interesting link that Karen at Rurality provided for me, I found evidence that God Almighty wants us to drink and be happy (as stated by Ben Franklin ?)...I mean, is it just me or does that image of the sky look like a giant martini glass? That's right.


Rurality said...

Lucky! I've been looking for a pillar every since I discovered the Atmospheric Optics page! Haven't seen one yet though. There is some good info here.

Marvin said...

A new term for me. I'd love to see one. Fab photo, Lisa!

Crafty Green Poet said...

stunning photo and interesting phenomenon!

lisa said...

Karen-Thanks for the links! You are the one that inspired me to investigate this sort of thing in the first place, after reading about sun dogs on your blog...thanks!

Marvin-You can't miss it when it happens, it looks like a big spotlight shooting up out of the ground. It was even more pronounced when I first saw it as the sky was darker, but I'd no time to stop. It took 32 shots to get one worth posting as it was, photography at 60mph is harder that it sounds. :)

Crafty green poet-Thank you!