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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/26/2009

Storm Clouds Transform Sky at Sunset

By Kevin Ambrose

* Sweaty Friday With Storm Threat: Full Forecast | Photo Archive *

The setting sun produces a bright glow on a storm near Centreville, Va., June 22 at 8:22 p.m.

On rare occasions, summer weather in the D.C. area is like that in Colorado or Arizona -- clear skies, low humidity, and clear views of clouds and storms without the obstruction of haze and humidity. June 22 was just such a day. I was able to capture a sunset cloud sequence as a storm approached Centreville, Va., from the north. I was amazed how quickly the clouds and sunset colors transformed the sky.

Keep reading for a chronological photo sequence of the storm and check out how quickly the sky changed appearance...

7:49 p.m.: Towering cumulus clouds approach Centreville, Va.

8:05 p.m.: The storm approaches.

8:15 p.m.: The clouds begin to show shades of yellow.

8:24 p.m.: The storm glows yellow with the setting sun.

8:27 p.m.: The clouds show shades of red as a faint rainbow appears on the left side of the storm.

8:31 p.m.: The faint rainbow moves to the right side of the storm as the clouds glow red.

8:33 p.m.: The colors begin to fade as the rainbow disappears.

8:34 p.m.: As the sun sets, the color has almost disappeared. A brief period of heavy rain followed, but surprisingly, there was no lightning.

By Kevin Ambrose  | June 26, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Photography  
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Next: Intense Storms Moving Out of Area


For those of you who know Centreville, the photo sequence was shot from the Little Rocky Run pool during a swim meet.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | June 26, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I hope you all were getting out of the water . . . .

Anyway, the first pic is very reminiscent of what we saw in NW DC earlier this week--huge cumulus clouds against a deep blue background of sky. Typically the rest of the sky is more overcast, so the contrast was, well, a contrast.

Posted by: ah___ | June 26, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

You make a good point about getting out of the water with storm clouds approaching. Since there was never lightning or thunder, the swim meet continued with hundreds of kids at the pool. Generally, pools are closed when thunder is heard, but if a storm develops as it approaches, the first strike could be right at the pool. I was not happy with the swim meet continuing, but I was not in a position to stop the meet. Ultimately, the storm never produced lightning.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | June 26, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Some M&M-sized hail on Capitol Hill.

Plain, not peanut.

Posted by: DagnyT | June 26, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

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