In my travels around the world, I have had the great pleasure of observing and experiencing some spectacular weather events and absolutely breath-taking cloud formations. As a naturalist, weather has always had a great appeal and it dictates virtually everything we do and even more so dictates the activities of wildlife and the flowering and growth patterns of plants. Today, July 3rd, in Marietta, Ga., we experienced very heavy rains (just over 4 “) brought northeast from the Gulf of Mexico. Although heavy rains are nothing unusual, this is what stirred my interest in providing some photos of clouds and weather conditions in this post. The following pictures somewhat speak volumes but each but each is accompanied with information as to where each image was taken and the circumstances as to what was occurring at the time.
Gobi Desert, Mongolia. An approaching sandstorm. Within 5 minutes of this image being taken, the Gers in which we were lodging, were completely engulfed in the incredible sandstorm. It lasted only about an hour but the sand drifts deposited on the leeward side of each structure were very impressive.
Amboselli, Kenya: A large dirt devil twirls its way over the arid region just West of the National Park.
Peruvian Amazon River: A quickly approaching tropical downpour threatens our small excursion boat. We returned to our “mother ship” about 10 minutes before the storm hit.
Maasai Mara, Kenya: An ominous black sky indicates a large amount of rain is on its way. The seasonal rains of East Africa is what triggers the great herds to migrate as the wildebeest follow the scent of rain. Our land rover is currently basking in the sun as the black skies soon darken our surroundings and torrential rains soon follow.
Patagonia, Chile: A cloud formation…….drinking from his hands!
Antarctica: Lenticular Clouds. I have not seen this type of cloud formation many times in the past but these over the massive tabular ice burgs of the Eastern side of the Antarctica Peninsula were the most impressive I have ever observed.
Amazon Rainforest: A massive cumulus cloud rises from the rainforest as evaporative transpiration transports enormous amounts of water to lofty heights. Many of these clouds quickly form especially during extremely hot weather.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado: The weather in the high mountains can be extremely changeable. Even within minutes, a nice clear sky can turn to complete cloud cover and winds can go from zero to 60 MPH in no time at all. The mountains create weather and during the winter months it is extremely important that travelers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts take great precautions in being safe.
I hope you have enjoyed the images above. I always get a thrill to experience a unique weather event as long as it is in the remote wild places of our planet. We all know what nature can do to completely destroy the lives of people, their homes and cities thus my interest is in the storms that occur in places where many people do not venture.