Monday, December 15, 2008

Tornadoes In Connecticut? Run Toto Run!

I put in a solid 10 hour day of birding Sunday for a Christmas Count. I was driving across the bridge to meet with the other participants of the count when I saw this mysterious cloud . My common sense told me that there wouldn't be a giant tornado in Connecticut during the month of December . Still, I did a double take when I saw this interesting cloud formation illuminated by the late afternoon sun.

23 comments:

Kallen305 said...

What a fantastic photo! The colors and the cloud formation is incredible.

8 hours for the bird count!! I am doing my first one ever this Saturday. I guess I should pack a lunch!

Larry said...

Actually it was more like 10 hours with the owling included( more on that later).You don't have to put that much time in to a count.-I was subbing for a vacant captain spot so that's why it took so long. Otherwise, half a day works fine usually.

dAwN said...

What an interesting cloud formation...happy birdie count!

steadyjohn said...

I believe what you observed is what is known as a sundog; light from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere refracted into various shapes. These shapes can be circular, elongated (like yours), intensely bright or diffuse. They occur especially when the sun is low in the sky. There are interesting examples here and here (similar to yours).

Clouds and light can cause some amazing illusions. Earlier this year I observed snowcapped mountains in the distance behind my house!

Natural Moments said...

It does look like a tornado, doesn't it. It does look beautiful and gives the sky a lot of extra personality.

Lana Gramlich said...

This totally reminds me of when I had that strange, colored line of cloud across the sky here. If you didn't see that post (& the 2, related, short videos there,) I highly recommend it!

Beth said...

That is beautiful and I can imagine it giving you pause on whether or not to return to the storm cellar. I worked in Connecticut one year--1980 or maybe 1979 and there was a terrible tornado in the Windsor Locks area--I can't remember the time of year, but don't think it was December.
Happy birding.

Larry said...

dawn-thanks-more of them to come yet.

steadyjohn-thanks for the information and links.-I will have to read a little bit more about sundogs.

Natural Moments-I much prefer a sky with a little personality.

Lana-Those were cool videos-kind of eerie!

Beth-That was the one giant Tornado in 1979.It wiped out a whole bunch of planes.

Tom said...

Hi Larry, Great photo! Looking forward to hearing about your Christmas Count.

Rick said...

That is a seriously eerie shot you took!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Larry,
Do you think it was a cold air funnel? Sometimes we get them here in Minnesota when certain types of weather systems are coming through. It's a very cool picture though!

Steve said...

What's crazy is that I, too, took a picture of a fake tornado in the last week.

Seen here.

Mine is not 10% as cool as yours though!

Kathiesbirds said...

Larry, how amnazing is that! And goreous too! Are you sure you weren't having a heavenly visitation?

dguzman said...

Beautiful clouds!

Larry said...

Tom-Thanks-I'll probably post something about them next week.

Rick-It sure caught my attention as I was crossing the bridge!

Ruthiej-I'm not sure what it was but it was pretty cool looking-even more so in real ife than in the photo.

Steve-That's a strage coincidence!what is going on in Connectiut? Are we being swarmed by Tornado look-a-likes?

Kathiebirds-That would be a nice gesture but i'm sure that I'm not high on the priority list for heavenly visitations-but you never know.

dzugman-Thanks- I had nothing to do with the clouds but a least I did think to stop and take a photo.Several people looked at me like I was crazy when they saw me taking a photo of the sky.

Christine said...

That's a weird sky. I think it's sort of like a tornado, but it couldn't touch down because it's not warm enough.

Chris said...

Hi,
Yeh a fantastic photo, but also terrific to see what mother nature can do... We are so small...

Ruth said...

Beautiful picture! You should have posted it on Skywatch. Our Christmas bird count is tomorrow and we are being hammered with a severe winter storm. I wonder how it will happen?

Larry said...

Christine-Maybe-A science teacher that I was taling to on a bus gave me an explanation.He basically said that it had elements that would make up a tornado but with out the nergy.-Of course, he didn't even see the photo.

Chris-I agree.

Ruth-I had one scheduled for Saturday-just got word it was cancelled.-I don't really know what the skywatch thing is. Bloggers take photos of the sky and post it? I've seen the skywatch posts but never gave it much thought.

Nan said...

That's a really amazing picture - so glad you captured it.

Patrice said...

Happy Holidays, Larry...

Mary said...

Bravo on a great photo, Larry! I'll bet you snapped and ran the other way!

Larry said...

Nan-Thanks-Nan-I'm glad I had a camera handy.

Patrice-Happy Holidays to you and your family as well.

Mary-No-but I called my wife to warn her about it.