Wearing o the Green Aurora

St. Patrick’s Day 2015 Northern Lights, photo by Lake Superior Photo

Shawn of Lake Superior Photo writes:

Some great auroras this morning, but it was very difficult to photograph, brutal wind- it’s still out and still dark, go look north

Click to view the photo background bigtacular after you go out and check!!

Call it the luck of the Irish for early risers! Stay safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.

 

Contrail Sunset by Mark Swanson

Contrails in a winter sky, photo by Mark Swanson

Whole lot going on in that sunset – definitely not like the ones I grew up with.

Mark writes:

I could not avoid contrails in the sky tonight (pretty sure much of this is Chicago), so I decided to focus on them.

I think that’s a good choice.

View his photo bigger on Flickr and see lots more Lake Michigan wintry goodness in Mark’s slideshow.

PS: Speaking of Lake Michigan goodness

Ice Curtains at Grand Island

Grand Island Ice Curtains, photo by Neil Weaver Photography

Neil says that seeing these in person was such an awesome experience. View the photo background bigtacular on his Facebook page, purchase a print right here, and check out lots more icy goodness at neilweaverphotography.com.

Except for a tiny sliver, the entirety of this Lake Superior island just off Munising is open for public access as the Grand Island National Recreation Area​. You will definitely want to check with locals regarding ice conditions. With a warming week of weather ahead, this is probably something to put on your 2016 agenda.

More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Whitefish Point Ice Cave by David Marvin

Whitefish Point Ice Cave, photo by David Marvin

If you’re collecting Michigan ice caves, you should know that Whitefish Point (up past the Tahquamenon Falls on Lake Superior) has ice caves right now.

View David’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his absolutely stunning Taqhamenon Falls & Whitefish Point – February 28, 2015 slideshow. (seriously, run, don’t walk to see this slideshow!) Lots more from David at his Marvin’s Gardens blog.

More winter wallpaper and more ice caves on Michigan in Pictures.

 

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan, photo by Frank Wulfers

What can you say about last weekend’s weather? The Elkhart Truth reports:

An Arctic cold front gripped Michigan on Sunday, sending temperatures plunging to minus 27 in the Upper Peninsula and minus 22 in the northern Lower Peninsula and shattering at least five record lows for the date.

The deep freeze came with an easing of the snow and windy conditions that forced a number of Upper Peninsula roads to close Saturday. At 6 a.m., state police announced the reopening of U.S. 2 between Manistique and Rapid River and Michigan 35 between Lathrop and Perkins.

“Both of the roadways closed yesterday and throughout the night due to inclement weather where snow and high winds were causing whiteout conditions,” the state police Negaunee post said in a statement.

…Overnight low temperatures Sunday fell to minus 27 at Newberry in central upper Michigan, the National Weather Service said. It said the low reached minus 22 at Pellston in the northern Lower Peninsula, while Detroit’s low fell to minus 7.

Authorities report record lows were set for the date in Ann Arbor, Flint, Grand Rapids and Monroe and at MBS International Airport in Saginaw County’s Tittabawassee Township.

View Frank’s photo from Cross Village background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

More winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

PS: Thanks to Moshe Kasher who appeared at the Winter Comedy Festival in Traverse City for the Hoth joke!

Happy Frozen Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2015

Valentines Day Ice

Valentine on Ice, photo by GR2 Photography

Happy FROZEN Valentine’s Day everyone. If you’re like me, with highs predicted for today and tomorrow in single digits and lows below zero across most of Michigan, you’re probably wishing that Mother Nature would let it go!

What an eye from Greg, eh? View his photo bigger and see many more photos & follow him at GR2 Photography on Facebook. Also, if you want to stock up on cool Valentines for next year, click the pic and ask him about that!

More Michigan Valentine’s Day on Michigan in Pictures.

Solar Halo over Marquette Lighthouse

Welcome to the Smile High Club, photo by Lake Superior Photo

Today’s photo is one of the most incredible pictures I’ve seen. In addition to the Marquette Harbor Light and the frozen Superior shore, there’s a cornucopia of solar optics that fairly defies imagination.

Atmospheric Optics is a wonderful website, certainly the best I’ve found for describing solar phenomena in a clear and inspiring manner. Here’s a bit of decoding of what’s happening in the skies of Marquette yesterday, but definitely follow the links to explore. There’s so much information and some great photos too!

First, above the lighthouse, there’s a 22º radius halo:

…visible all over the world and throughout the year. Look out for them (eye care!) whenever the sky is wisped or hazed with thin cirrus clouds. These clouds are cold and contain ice crystals in even the hottest climes.

The halo is large. Stretch out the fingers of your hand at arms length. The tips of the thumb and little finger then subtend roughly 20°. Place your thumb over the the sun and the halo will be near the little finger tip.

The halo is always the same diameter regardless of its position in the sky. Sometimes only parts of the complete circle are visible.

There’s also a sundog, known also as parhelia or mock sun. These appear in the 22º halo, even when you can’t see the halo. You can see one at the visible base of the halo on the right:

They are most easily seen when the sun is low. Look about 22° (outstretched hand at arm’s length) to its left and right and at the same height. When the sun is higher they are further away. Each ‘dog’ is red coloured towards the sun and sometimes has greens and blues beyond. Sundogs can be blindingly bright, at other times they are a mere coloured smudge on the sky.

They advise you’ll see one or two a week if you look and if you click over you can learn about how they form & moon dogs.

Finally, we come to the circumzenithal arc (CZA), the upside down rainbow at the top:

…the most beautiful of all the halos. The first sighting is always a surprise, an ethereal rainbow fled from its watery origins and wrapped improbably about the zenith. It is often described as an “upside down rainbow” by first timers. Someone also charmingly likened it to “a grin in the sky”.

Look straight up near to the zenith when the sun if fairly low and especially if sundogs are visible. The centre of the bow always sunwards and red is on the outside.

The CZA is never a complete circle around the zenith, that is the exceptionally rare and only recently photographed Kern arc.

Read on for more, and definitely be sure to check atoptics.co.uk when you see solar & lunar phenonmena you’d like to know more about.

View Shawn’s photo bigger and join thousands of others in following Lake Superior Photo on Facebook … and on the Twitters. You can purchase this photo on the Lake Superior Photo website.

PS: Check out Dominic B. Davis’s photo of the solar halo in the morning too!

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