Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
The new Washington
Post Weather website
Jump to CWG's
Latest Full Forecast
Outside now? Radar, temps
and more: Weather Wall
Follow us on Twitter (@capitalweather) and become a fan on Facebook
Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/ 3/2008

Photography: Storms From 30,000 Feet

By Ian Livingston

Classic strong to severe thunderstorm southeast of the area around 3:15 p.m. one week ago.

As severe weather was passing through the area last Sunday, I was inbound on a flight returning from a trip to Florida. Though I was unhappy with the delay in landing caused by the storminess, I was fortunate to get an opportunity to shoot some thunderstorm photos from the air. Numerous cloud features were evident, and a unique opportunity to capture a "rainbow" from the sky presented itself.

Keep reading for more storm photos, and see our full forecast for upcoming weather conditions across the area.

I checked D.C. area radar through my cell phone before departing Tampa, Fl. and knew it was likely the storms would be to the east of the region upon arrival. I decided to sit on the right side of the plane to ensure I would get a good view to the east, and I sat far enough behind the wing to be able to take photos without having it in the image (unless I chose to add it -- as in one below, for scale).

All photographs were taken at ISO 100 with various shutter speeds between 1/400 second and 1/800 second. I used a zoom lens to be able to isolate various features. Fast shutter speeds allowed for fairly crisp images, but when shooting from a plane: always remember not to allow the camera to rest on the window or plane surface because of vibration. Photographing storms to the east during late afternoon had the added bonus of the sun behind the camera, which front-lit the clouds.

See the image captions for descriptions and links to more information on the cloud formations shown.

Clouds right outside the window of the plane while at cruising altitude near 30,000 feet above sea level.

Portion of a developing thunderstorm with small "rainbow" caused by clouds nearer to plane.

An overshooting top on a cumulonimbus incus, indicative of a strong updraft and typical of strong to severe thunderstorms.

A growing cumulonimbus with pileus cap.

By Ian Livingston  | August 3, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Photography, Thunderstorms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Pleasant Present, Future Furnace
Next: Forecast: Heat to Build but not Boil

No comments have been posted to this entry.

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2012 The Washington Post Company