The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
-Psalm 19:1

Do you know that God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
-Job 37:15

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just chillin'

It was so good to be back last week for Sky Watch Friday, but I guess I was way out of practice because I totally botched my link on Mr. Linky! UGH! I couldn't figure out what was going on until I clicked on what I had done... I linked to the SWF site!!!! 2nd listing, and so few visits... sigh. Thanks to those of you who found me anyhow, and a humongous thank you to Klaus, who saved the day by fixing the link! Please visit Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Louise and Fishing Guy's SKY WATCH BLOG to participate in Sky Watch Fridays, which is WELL WORTH YOUR WHILE!! Thanks to Dot, the mother of this fabulous blogging event, and to the "retired" Tom (appreciated the visit!), who brought it to full bloom. I, personally, love visiting the skies all over the world!!! You should definitely come fly with us! I have decided to post this morning's sky as I was leaving my neighborhood this morning, headed for work.

There are so many elements in this picture that captivate my attention... the most eye catching would be the brilliant ball of fire glaring through the haphazardly strewn icy crystal shielding of patchy cirrostratus fibratus clouds (high atmosphere clouds that are made up of ice crystals... "Relatively transparent cirrostratus fibratus clouds occur mostly in winter and often produce a halo effect around the sun or moon." ~source (cloud postage stamps!!!)), as they are scattered throughout the morning sky, adding a chilled back drop for a painfully cold morning (yes, I know I am a wimp, so?!). The next thing that catches the eye is the brilliantly illuminated contrail (condensation formed from the exhaust of a jet airplane), looking like a silver thread woven through the sky. The last thing you probably see and my actual motivation for capturing this shot is the faint sun dog (sun dogs are brilliant colored spots on a solar halo, which reflect or refract the sunlight in the ice crystals, usually when the sun is low, the two sun dogs are located on the circle of the 22° halo) that you see just above the tree line. When I first decided I wanted to capture a shot of the sun dog here, it was a brilliant spectrum of color in the patchy cirrus clouds. In the moments it took me to get my camera ready, it had dulled significantly but remained with me during my entire drive to work. After viewing the shot, though, I absolutely love the way the cirrus clouds sort of haze and distort the sun. Awesomeness!!!

Anyways, with all that said, the main story today in the US, remains the Arctic blast of cold air sweeping across the nation, which was pushed in by the parade of Alberta clippers, bringing in the coldest temperatures some of these areas have seen in over 10 years, some more years than that! High temperatures capping out in the NEGATIVES! Then, you pile on the wind and you get wind chills nearing -50°F in some places!!! School and business closures have helped protect folks from the very real danger of going out into such weather. Several deaths have already been attributed to the harsh cold, and many warm shelters have opened up to give folks a place to go to be safe from the deathly cold temperatures. A new threat develops with a deep freeze such as this... the ground freezes to about 5 and 6 feet deep, which puts underground pipes in danger of rupture, so people are without water. This is an amazing cold weather outbreak. It's so intense, that 20 of the 50 states are under wind chill advisories. Many of the northern states are forecast to have s#@w; some are expected to get about 1 1/16" of s#@w, which should not be confused with the 13" of s#@w that other areas are dealing with. My neck of the woods is still expected to remain s#@wless... WHEW!

I know it seems less impressive to talk about south Georgia and parts of Florida, which are just dipping into freezing temps (we actually are under a hard freeze warning), but our part of the country is about as equipped to deal with extreme cold as the far north is prepared for extremely high temperatures. This morning, our thermometers dove below 32°F, but we have yet to see the worst of it. We are heading into the TEENS, in the wind chill forecast for the early morning and as an actual forecasted low of 18°F for Friday night! UGH! Can you say: DEWDROPCICLE!!!?

All of you United States based Sky watchers need to bundle up, stay indoors, dress in MANY layers if you MUST go out, and enjoy the warmth of your sky watching via SWF... here's a little ray of sunshine to help warm you up...Warm blessings,


  1. I symphathize with those who are having subzero temps, while here in the SF bay area we are having unseasonably warm weather since Monday. Again, our temps are between 62-70 across the bay area.

  2. Generally, I'm quite happy to live in an area with four distinct seasons, but I don't think that exempts me from whining - right? Love your spectacular shot of the light show!!

  3. We are also having the cold temps here. I am glad you put things in my terms also when you make your post that way I don't say "what". Thanks for the Dew-riffic sky watch post again this week.

  4. In the first picture the capture of the sun is awesome.

  5. Great SWF pictures and a very interesting post!Happy SWF!

  6. Beautiful pictures !
    Great Blog.

  7. A ball of fire for sure!

  8. Fireball!!!! whew! nicely done!

  9. nice pics have a great SWF

  10. Love the photo.I love winter light, and you captured it PERFECTLY! And sundogs are my special friends. I see them here in NM more than I ever have before. I always think they are there just for me!

  11. Pretty pictures and all the more interesting to learn more about the science that goes into making them happen. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Very dramatic and so much going on! I love the sun dog!

  13. Very nice composition that picture of yours. :)
    With so many exciting things to see for people like you - who really have the eyes for it. :)
    Your engagement facinates me. :)))
    I learned something new today also.
    About sun dogs. ;)))
    Happy Sky Watch. :)


  14. Lovely Dewdrop, the sun is blinding and wonderful for it, thanks too for the detail write up it helps a lot.
    I too had a great sundog yesterday but no camera ready:-(
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. Cool shots, love those clouds.

  16. Wonderful captures as always!

  17. Dewdrop, your sun dog shot as you so aptly put it, is awesome! The scattering of light by the ice crystals makes for a magical picture with th econtrails as a diversion of the main theme.
    Rug up and stay warm.

  18. Hiya Dewdrop,
    These are cool photos. I love the glowing halo effects you caught, plus that meteorological info is fascinating. Brrrrrr. You're so right. It's freeeeeeeeeeeezing here!

  19. Your photo is stunning! I love all the cameo interest areas in it! And your comments, as always are so interesting!

  20. Nice sundog capture in a brilliant sky.
    I'm sitting in shirt sleeves this afternoon at 64 degrees F.

  21. Ah, photos are stunning, as usual.
    Stay warm out there!
    Better throw another log on the fire, looks like it's gonna be a cold one! =)

  22. Excellent photos ! Thank you for sharing.

  23. Absolutely gorgeous! Other worldly! It's cold here in Seattle, but nothing like yours! Thanks for the magnificet shots and have a great weekend!

  24. Very nice photos and great info. Hope we don't have to melt you back to earth, Dewdropsicle!

  25. Beautiful skies, Dewdrop. We'll need the warmth here in Florida. 25 degrees or lower tonight. Florida?

  26. Amazing captures!

    It's going to be cold here tonight and tomorrow, below zero!

  27. Hello again.
    You are very welcome to copy my pictures in my Sky Watch post.
    It's a pleasure - indeed. :)))
    I'm glad that you liked them.
    You are free to copy them directly from my blog.
    If you want to, i can send them by e-mail. Without the frames.
    Whatever you prefer. :)

  28. Hola, Dew! Super sky! Speaking of sun, not a cloud in the sky up here today. Supposed to get down to -20 overnight tonight... I am gonna do the hot water cold air thing in the morning. Should be fun. Embrace your cold air... deep breaths! :)

  29. Gorgeous pictures Dewdrop. We see lots of contrails here too. We live in a flight path between Chicago, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and New York.
    In answer to my close up photos of the Hairy woodpecker, I have many feeders up close to my computer room window, making it easier. I also take so many shots, and just save the best ones.
    2ยบ here tonight. Brrrr.

  30. The first photo was very interesting

  31. Hope your southern pipes don't freeze. Thanks for the lovely photos. The glowing sun in the first one is impressive.

  32. Dew: Congrats for getting in early with a great post, thanks for sharing all your info on the clouds.

  33. Your post and photos warmed me up on a cold night--just what I needed. Thanks. I love your first photo. It's as if some master painter just wasn't sure what to do with all that gold. So rich and lovely. Thanks.

  34. Hey Dew, thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me the lowdown on what kind of clouds I captured in my post. There are so many different kinds of clouds, I can't begin to remember them all.

    I love your eclectic photo with so many elements, it's making my head swim!

  35. Great Skywatch shots as always, thanks for sharing.

    Regina In Pictures

  36. I often forget I am lucky to live in a predominately wet area. Gorgeous pics.

  37. Wonderful images as always, Dew! Thanks for sharing!!!

  38. I like the first one. It is interesting! =)

  39. Beautiful pictures of the sky. I like the first one.

  40. What a wonderful shot, Dewdrop.
    There are somemany nice things in it ... just great!
    Overhere in The Netherlands we've had two weeks of nice winter weather. For the first time in 12 yaers we could skate on lakes and canals. But now it's all over with higher temparatures.
    Stay warm overthere!

  41. The photos are just beautiful! At least the cold weather makes for some beautiful skies.

  42. I love the maps: we finally got some of that cold air here in Naples, Fl. It had been a warmer than usual December.

  43. Hi Dew... No.1 slot suits you for sure... :O)
    I'm slowly blogging a bit more now... just Sky Watch for the time being and I'll see how it goes from here.

  44. That's like the sun shooting sunrays all over! Great catch!

  45. Beautiful. Love the sun coming or going over the mountains.

  46. I love the contrast between your two shots, thanks for sharing - keep warm :)

  47. I've been so slack in my responses to all my kind commenters. Thanks so much for your encouragment and compliments!

    Photo cache and Gaelyn, thanks for rubbing it in... lol

    Deborah, It doesn't appear anyone is exempt from whining... I think it just determines the degree of sympathy you earn.

    Bradely, Pearl Maple, Ida, Bowledover Awesome compliment. Glad you enjoy my posts.

    Louise, I love the way the sky is so dynamic in winter... never know what kind of show you might have. Sun dogs are my special friends too!

    Arija, Magical, indeed.

    Kathie, That melting could start any time now...

    PJ, Sorry... I feel your pain.

    Josh, glad you were safe with the water experiment.

    Janie, Mine are ok, but friends south of here had problems. Yuck.

    Fishing guy... big cheesy grin. Thanks!

    Sandy, glad to help. Thanks!

    Larry, I keep a poster close. They are all so incredible.

    Tom, Honor as always. Thanks for visiting.

    Stay warm, y'all.


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