An Amazing Pre-Storm Sunrise
I have found the most colorful sunrises occur as storm systems approach from the west with clear skies to the east. I was hopeful for a good sunrise Saturday morning because the forecast Friday night was for brief clearing followed by rain Saturday afternoon and evening as a storm system moved in from the southwest.
I awoke early Saturday morning and noticed the sky had total cloud cover. I checked Reagan Airport conditions and their observation was cloudy skies. It did not look good, perhaps too many clouds, and I was ready to jump back into bed. Then, I checked the current infrared (IR) satellite image and it showed clear skies reaching from the Atlantic Ocean west to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. That was a good sign, it would allow sunlight to undercut the clouds overhead as the sun rose to the east. I quickly saved the IR satellite image to my computer, packed my camera gear, and headed to D.C.
Keeping reading to see a wide view of the sunrise, the IR satellite image from Saturday morning, and a time lapse video of the sunrise.
I had hoped to shoot the sunrise from the Lincoln Memorial but the D.C. police had the roads blocked for an event. I back-tracked to the Netherlands Carillon and set up my cameras for a photo shoot. The sky was just starting to show color as I started recording my time lapse video.
Within minutes, the color exploded across the clouds on the eastern horizon as the sun began to rise. An area running club, already into their morning run, made comments about the amazing view as they ran past. The sunrise color faded as quickly as it appeared and we were left with gray, cloudy skies after sunrise. The show was brief, but beautiful.
I was pleased that the time lapse video shows how the colors advance upward from the eastern horizon into the sky, then quickly fade away into gray. I have watched this many times while taking photos, but have never seen the progression in time lapse. I was slightly annoyed that I did not properly level the video camera, but it still shows the sunrise fairly well.
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