Should we be worried?

The nearest cell tower has been the roost for a small band of vultures for years. In the last weeks, however, some of the vultures have ventured closer to the house for a rest, lighting on trees just past the yard. When you glance out the kitchen window and see the large, moribund-looking birds staring back, part of you wonders if it’s an omen.

A few days later, a lightning bolt crashed near the house, knocking out the power, water, air conditioners and other and  sundry electrics, as temperatures outside soared past 100. Inside, temps in the living room hit 107. Thanks to all the repairmen who have come and gone in the last two weeks, the house is livable again.

Neither of these fellows has come to roost near the house lately. At least none that we’ve seen.

Black vulture in tree
MORBID THE YOUNGER — Young black vulture hangs out on a tree that usually serves as a roost for collared doves and indigo buntings. He’s rather a dashing bird with a sharp look about him. 
Black vulture and hummingbird.
PHOTO BOMB — Fast-moving hummingbird gets a look from one of the local black vultures. (Can’t look at this one and not think of Beaky Buzzard from the Warner Bros. cartoons as he’s bringing home a baby bumblebee. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=na7WqSb6sY0 )

Weekly photo challenge: Infinite

Day or night, the sky offers infinite possibilities.

Milky Way against dark sky.
MILKY WAY — A seeming infinity of stars as seen from our patch of Arkansas. (Oh, that thing in the lower right is the satellite dish of infinite channels.)

SHELFISH --Shelf cloud sweeps across the Ouachitas ahead of an Oct. 12 cold front.

SHELFISH — Eerily smooth and pink-lit shelf cloud sweeps across the Ouachitas ahead of an Oct. 12 cold front.
Dual lightning bolts.
BOLT — Storm casts two bolts. This is what followed the shelf cloud above.
And some other delightful entries:

Zzzzzap! Pow!

Cold air from the north and west met up with our 80-degree spring day, producing powerful storms. Here’s what we saw this evening.

Weekly photo challenge: Big 1

Mother Nature can really throw some heat — and light.  For this week’s big challenge, we offer big examples of what she can do with her electric pitching arm.

TWIN CHANNELS — Big lightning strike to the south.
BIGGER LIGHTNING — This lightning bolt and the expanding column of super-heated air and water all aglow. Don’t mess with Mother Nature when she’s in that mood.

More Big:
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/weekly-photo-challenge-big/

Summer storm

Summer’s pop-up thunderstorms can be spectacular, whether you’re under the cloud watching its power or scores of miles away watching the cloud expand and evolve with convection and eventual dissipation. This June 15 storm was apparently a favorite for photographers. KARK had many viewer photos of this storm from different parts of Arkansas.

Storm head
This storm, its billows defined by the setting sun, traveled west-southwest, over Dallas and Cleveland counties. It looked like a snow covered range from 80 miles away.
storm head
A close up of the most active part of the June 15 storm. This head was lit from within by lightning.

Napoleon is mad …

And who wouldn’t be? When was the last time we had a dry weekend? (well, OK, last weekend WAS an exception!)  More than 4 inches of rain has fallen since noon Friday and Sunday arrived complete with another barrage of lightning, thunder and a few chunks of hail for good measure.

Ruby throated hummingbird
Napoleon, the only ruby-throated hummingbird on the deck, takes command of the high ground on between heavy rain. He and the rufous hummingbirds constantly battle for control of the feeders.
rain gage
Four inches and counting ...

Dark and stormy night

Mother Nature is making up for lost time, after months of dry weather, sending wave after wave of storms on Oct. 24.

The following day, the National Weather Service confirmed a weak tornado:

000
NOUS44 KLZK 252012
PNSLZK
ARZ003>007-012>016-021>025-030>034-037>047-052>057-062>069-260600-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
315 PM CDT MON OCT 25 2010

...EF0 TORNADO CONFIRMED IN SOUTHWEST PULASKI COUNTY...

TODAY...A SURVEY TEAM FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LITTLE
ROCK CONFIRMED THAT AN EF0 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN SOUTHWEST PULASKI
COUNTY LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. EF0 TORNADOES ARE THE WEAKEST
TORNADOES ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE...AND HAVE WINDS BETWEEN 65
AND 85 MPH.

THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND FOR 0.77 MILE...FROM 3 MILES
WEST-NORTHWEST OF CRYSTAL VALLEY TO 2.7 MILES NORTHWEST OF CRYSTAL
VALLEY. THE MAJORITY OF THE DAMAGE WAS ON CRYSTAL VALLEY RD. ABOUT
1/2 MILE SOUTH OF LAWSON RD.

A FEW TREES WERE BLOWN DOWN...A NUMBER OF LARGE LIMBS WERE BLOWN
DOWN...AND PART OF A BARN ROOF WAS BLOWN OFF.

STORM DAMAGE AT E. ROOSEVELT AND DUGAN IN EAST LITTLE ROCK WAS ALSO
SURVEYED. HERE...A ROOF WAS BLOWN OFF AN INDUSTRIAL BUILDING...
KNOCKING DOWN POWER LINES AND POWER POLES. THIS DAMAGE WAS CAUSED BY
THUNDERSTORM WINDS...NOT A TORNADO.

DAMAGE AROUND THE 4000 BLOCK OF BASELINE RD. AND ON BRUNO RD. IN
SOUTHWEST LITTLE ROCK WAS ALSO SURVEYED. HERE...A NUMBER OF LARGE
LIMBS WERE BLOWN DOWN...A TREE FELL ON A HOUSE...AND SOME SHINGLES
WERE BLOWN OFF THE ROOFS OF HOUSES. THIS DAMAGE WAS CAUSED BY
THUNDERSTORM WINDS...NOT A TORNADO.

$$

 

 

Lightning
Lightning streaks across the sky as another wave of storms rakes across Arkansas.

Tornado warning

When moisture from the warm Gulf of Mexico meets cold air from the north and west, severe thunderstorms are likely. Sometimes, they give birth to tornadoes. One such storm cropped up mid-afternoon today.  Here on Round Mountain, we had a front row seat as the wall cloud moved eastward, pelting us with pea-sized hail and cracking the sky with frequent lightning.

The National Weather Service is still receiving damage reports. Some 15,000 people are reported without power, with trees down, one car overturned with children inside (the children were rescued and reported to be OK, but probably scared out of their wits), and damage to buildings downtown.

 

Wall cloud
The rain-free area to the left precedes what was turning into a wall cloud (dark area to the right) that produced a tornado that tracked some 15 miles through Little Rock on Oct. 24.
Lightning
A stroke of lightning bolts through the sky as the storm intensifies.
Spectacular sunset between storms
Spectacular sunset between storms, as we await a second storm system that has already produced a tornado in SW Arkansas.
Weather radar
Red boxes for tornado warnings and yellow boxes for severe thunderstorms track like footprints across Texas and Arkansas.