29 July 2009

Skywatch Friday: Mountain Weather

We've had some hot daytime weather in the Northern Rockies, and the heat brings some tremendous afternoon storms.

The day begins clear and cool (view west to the Pintler Wilderness from Butte, Montana):

As the heat builds, moisture is drawn up from the valleys. As the air passes over a mountain chain, it cools and builds clouds, and then gets more heat and moisture from the next valley. On a good day, mammotocumulus clouds sweep over the upper valley (Butte sits at the base of the Continental Divide):


And hailstones pelt the earth:


The storm is brief and violent. The clouds pass, the sky clears, and to the east a rainbow appears:

Butte America, lovely weather!

28 comments:

mountain.mama said...

Oh, we got the heat and the hail, but no rainbow! Lucky you.

Arija said...

I would dearly love to experience one of those wonderful days where you are. You can really see the weather gods at work, and feel them too if you are out in the hail. Very beautiful post.

troutbirder said...

Neat pictures though. Here, of course, you see the storms coming hours ahead. Several times fishing the Missouri near Craig -sunny skies and then ten minutes later dark, lightening and being pelted by hail.

Janie said...

That's quite a hailstorm. Beautiful double rainbow!

Klaus said...

Pretty cool shots!
Wouldn't like to be in a hailstorm, though! ;)
Cheers, Klaus

LV said...

You sound like here in Texas. Just wait a few minutes and the weather will change. The rainbow shot is really pretty

James said...

Hail may cause damage but tthe sky sure looks great while it's happening.

Louise said...

Maybe not lovely to be getting hit by hail, but it DOES make lovely pictures!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Wow..you made this so interesting with each photo ending w/the awesome rainbow!
We are making changes w/our computer (mine really), so I haven't posted my skywatch yet..but they are of cloud shots too and you gave me something more to think about- them anyway. Thanks for stopping by with your kind words..Have a good day-

Photo Cache said...

You have some wild weather out there. Skywatching is not boring where you are as the sky constantly changes. Thanks for commenting on my "no photo" blog :)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

ER: The water is welcome in the Summer and that rainbow was extraordinary. Nicely done for SWF.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi ER, Love that rainbow photo. Perfect!!!! Sorry about the hailstorm. Hope you didn't have any damage to your car... That is BIG hail!!!!

I heard about all of the hot weather out your way. Please don't send it this way!!!! ha

Betsy

Carol said...

I love those dramatic days! Your second shot is great with those unusual clouds...and of course the rainbow shot is beautiful...big hailstones...

B SQUARED said...

Strange how weather is so unique in different locations.

Regina said...

amazing skies. How wonderful. Love the rainbow.

Gaelyn said...

Wow, that's an awesome series of pics. The double rainbow is a just reward for the large hail. Great captures!

Lily Hydrangea said...

amazing sky, hail and rainbow!
I read in your profile you like Eraserhead, a movie my husband & I saw 20 or so years ago in college. We were just talking about it recently. I don't know many people who have seen it. Definitely a unique movie, eh?

JD said...

beautiful pictures on ur blog.. thanx

Mike said...

Great shots!

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Great skywatch photos. The weather is very dramatic in the summer. Love the rainbow at the end.

Naturegirl said...

You captured some great images of the eye of the storm...pelts of ice!!!You were blessed w/ a rainbow as an apology!

mountain.mama said...

PS Standpoint epistemology? I LOVE IT!

Larry D said...

Wow great series of photos, you had it all.

Tammie Lee said...

such a great mix of weather, views, rainbows and beauty. we have had the same up around Whitefish. You have captured this all wonderfully.

Spirithelpers

Maria said...

spectacular...all of it! the clouds look like fingers and toes ready to descend! And oooh that rainbow!
Hope your flowers are okay!
All the best, Maria

fourwindsphotojournal said...

That was good day to have a camera handy, even if you did get hailed on. Great photos, as always.

tsduff said...

Thanks for a lovely walk in the beauty of the world. Very refreshing - we never get much of that here in the bay area (San Francisco) ahhhhhh :)

secret agent woman said...

I love catching a double rainbow.

At first glance I thought you had a andful of teeth!