Rising to meet the sky

After the rain, mist rises from the mountains to meet the sky. At times the mist rises in columns that bend gently like grass in a breeze, shifting east and then west at the whim of the winds. The movement is hypnotic and in its silence, mysterious.

Mountain mist.
Post-rain mists rising to meet the sky.

Oh, hail!

When it comes to hail, what we saw 10 days ago certainly had less volume and smaller pieces than what Colorado and the Midlantic states saw within the last few days. The hail was unusual in the candy corn-shaped  pieces left when the marble-sized ice balls shattered on the deck and sidewalk.



Sometimes, it pays to look back

Advent is a time of looking forward — preparing one’s self for the feast of Christmas. However, after last night’s vigil Mass for the final Sunday of Advent, looking back paid off too.

For almost 24 hours, nature had soaked the state in a deluge that saw nearly 8 inches of rain fall in parts of the Arkansas Delta. The same system also spawned tornadoes in other parts of the state. When the heavy rain finally stopped, those leaving church were welcomed by a fiery orange sunset. En route to the parking lot,  paused on the steps to take a shot or two of the sunset with my iPhone (bottom photo). But something made me look back. And there over the church, the sky glowed with a luminous double rainbow.

The iPhone’s ‘pano’ setting sure  came in handy in trying to capture such a wide view. 

Fiery sunset
Fiery sunset with the old bell tower in silhouette. 

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.

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.

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.






After the storm

Light from the setting sun plays across mist left after the passage of a summer storm that flashed through the Ouachitas of western Pulaski, eastern Perry and northern Saline counties.

low clouds in the Ouachita valleys after a storm
Low clouds fill these Ouachita valleys looking into Perry County.

Tornado season

A twister that killed one person in northeastern Arkansas came uncomfortably close to our part of the Ouachitanian Interface.  While we missed the rotational winds, we were close enough to be showered with a storm cell’s other gift: large hail.

Ping pong ball sized hail
The storm that produced this hailstone also produced egg-, tennis ball-, and even baseball-sized hail.