Category Archives: Weather

Across The Sky

Cooler temps, a cold front, icy clouds up high, and ideal conditions for contrails.

Someone was headed almost due west, past the sun and off over the Pacific. Dallas to Honolulu? Who knows. Something like that.

Upon closer examination, there’s a bit of iridescence in the high clouds of ice, a bit of rainbow coloring just above the center of the photo.

And just to the right of the tree, no doubt headed into BUR Rwy 8, is a Southwest 737.

That’s a really sweet shade of blue, isn’t it?

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Filed under Flying, Photography, Weather

Nocturnal Cloud Shapes

At the time it was just a picture of the moon through the clouds in the middle of the night. But then I look at the photo on the screen and there are shapes and forms and images. The human brain is good at that…

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Skyscapes – November 14th

I wish I were a hawk…

…or a raven…

…or a sparrow…

…or a swallow…

…or an owl…

…or even a turkey vulture…

…so I could just soar up there all day long.

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Clouds By Moonlight

A week ago we were hoping for clear skies for the total lunar eclipse, but got rain and a solid overcast. The following night however, after some of the clouds had broken up, we had bright moonlight illuminating the remaining banks of clouds up over the mountains to the north.

Spooky, but beautiful!

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Red Leaves In Grey Skies

After this week’s rain, before the sun came back out, the light surrounding our handful of fall-colored leaves was perfect.

Now the wind and sun have returned and the leaves are mostly on the ground.

So fleeting…

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The storm is gone and our democracy is still here. -Ish, at least.

As with the election, so with the weather. It can always be so much worse – and it might be any time.

But for now, we’ll take it. “Perfect is the enemy of good,” as they say, and there’s a lot of truth to that.

Tomorrow’s another day.

We fight on.

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Filed under Photography, Politics, Sunsets, Weather


Early again today with a couple of quick notes and one critically important message for the day:

    1. Critically important message for the day – if you’re in the US and eligible,


    2. For last night’s total lunar eclipse, the last one until 2025, as expected, I saw exactly diddly squat.
    3. In case you haven’t heard, there’s an incredibly important election in the US today, so make sure you vote if you’re eligible!
    4. About an hour before last night’s total lunar eclipse started there were huge breaks in the clouds and the extremely bright full moon was lovely. You can see Jupiter just above the tree in the lower left.
    5. In many US states, California included, you can sign up and register to vote on the day of the election, so not being registered isn’t an excuse. If you’re in one of those states and you can do this, then vote!
    6. We didn’t win the $2.04B lottery last night, even though they’re reporting that the ticket was sold in LA County. There’s something like ten million plus folks in LA County and about 99% of them bought tickets. Someone’s a megabazillionaire today, but not on our block.
    7. In most states (I’m not an expert, but it’s what I keep seeing repeated) if you’re in line when the polls close, stay there and they have to keep the polls open until everyone votes. So get in line and stand your ground to vote!
    8. This morning, we’re getting some much needed rain. It’s only an inch or so, but given the multi-year drought we’re in, that’s a good thing.
    9. Finally, even if it’s raining or snowing where you are, even if the lines are long (which is actually a good thing!), even if it’s inconvenient, even if it means you’re going to miss some TV show or sportsball event, even if you’re really tired – none of those are legitimate excuses. For probably the most critical threat to our government since the Civil War over 160 years ago, we all need to go out and vote. Bury the fascists and their attempts to drag us back to the 1850’s with an overwhelming vote for democracy, personal rights, and human decency.
    10. With this list format, pictures, and video, the formatting on this is going to be bizarre – whatever. You know what’s important?

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Politics, Video, Weather

Tonight’s Full Lunar Eclipse

Posting a bit earlier in the day to give everyone who might need it a heads up. There’s a full lunar eclipse tonight.

If you’re in the US midwest or on the east coast you can see the beginning of it just before dawn. If you’re on the North American west coast (about from the Rockies west, map here) you can see most or all of it in the middle of the night. If you’re on the Asian east coast you can see most or all of it just after sunset. If you’re in Hawaii, you’re golden, you can see it all overhead at a relatively comfortable hour!

Assuming your sky is clear. Here in SoCal…

Light rain started around midnight and is supposed to go through Wednesday morning. While we’re grateful for the rain (the first measurable rain since March and we’re entering the third? fourth? fifth? year of a critical drought) the timing is less than optimal.

This is the last total lunar eclipse in about three years, so if you get a chance, take a peek!

Start times for different events:

First contact with umbra
(the deep part of the Earth’s shadow)
09:09 04:09 01:09
50% partial 09:44 04:44 01:44
Start of totality 10:17 05:17 02:17
Mid eclipse 10:59 05:59 02:59
End of totality 11:42 06:42 03:42
50% partial 12:14 07:14 04:14
Final contact with umbra 12:49 07:49 04:49

Remember, all you need to see a lunar eclipse (other than a clear sky or a hole in the clouds) is ye olde Mark I human eyeball. Binoculars or a small telescope might let you see more color or detail, but the naked eye works just fine. (It’s a solar eclipse that you never, EVER want to look at without protection.)

How dark will this eclipse be? How colorful? Will the moon look red, orange, brown? Who knows, they’re all different. That’s the great part of it! If you snap a picture, feel free to share it!

And that whole “signs & portents” thing where the full moon starts to turn dark and then blood red in the sky on the eve of the US midterm elections. It’s strictly a coincidence. Totally by chance. It means nothing. At all. No danger being foretold. None.

Just make sure you go out tomorrow and vote anyway, just to make sure. Seriously!

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space, Weather

And Then The Halloween Sunset Came

There were a few clouds moving in this afternoon, a tiny chance of rain for the next day or so (and by “tiny” I mean non-zero, but so close to non-existant it’s not really funny), and when I went out I saw this quarter moon floating up there through a thin layer. “That’s a nice photo for my blog post today!” I thought. And it was.

An hour or so later, just before dinner, I saw a glow and decided to check it out.

The Halloween sunset had come and it was loaded for bear!

These rows of low hanging virga were lit up like nothing I had ever seen before.

And where the sun had gone down, it was shades of orange and red that looked like they came straight from Armageddon.

No editing on any of these. No filters. No fiddling with the hue or saturation. All straight out of the camera.

WOW! Perfect for Halloween!

And then, because of the huge hill we live at the top of, for the fourth year in a row, not a single trick-or-treater came by.

Tomorrow… November.


Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Sunsets, Weather

Skyscapes – October 26th

It was a good morning for playing this game!

Oh, to be a hawk and go dodging in and out of those fluffy white expanses just for the pure joy of it!

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