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A micro-dust-burst-haboob something or other

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, f/9.0, iso 100, blend // buy print)

I was shooting a timelapse of the dust storm in the opposite direction when I turned to look behind me and saw this. A  towering monsoon thunderstorm, a strong downdraft (potential microburst) and an approaching dust storm/haboob all creating one crazy scene.

The dynamic range was intense though as you might be able to tell. The sun was hidden by clouds except at the top of that thunderstorm where it was so bright that if exposed correctly, made the rest of the image almost black. I rarely go into post-processing talk these days, but this guy was kind of tough. As I’ve gotten away from doing HDR, I am doing more blending using luminosity masking (LM). I use LM on almost all my processing these days (other than B&W), I find it a lot of fun with more natural results. But blending something like this was tough for me and I’m still learning how to do it correctly.

Whatever the processing method…it was still an amazing sight. Usually storms build up along the outflow of a dust storm, not way out in front like this one. So it’s rare to get a scene like this with an incoming dust wall and a large downdraft out ahead.

Another dust storm rolling through uptown Phoenix

It wouldn’t bee a monsoon thunderstorm if we didn’t have a wall of dust moving through town. Usually though, that’s all we get…but the last two days have seen decent rain for Phoenix. It’s been crazy weather, flash flooding on the outskirts of town and widespread precipitation.

Been a busy summer for the monsoon season. Definitely more active than I remember in recent years.

A dust storm timelapse over downtown Phoenix

I know. So tired of these. But I like ’em. Don’t see the dust come from the west very often.

Another haboob – July 21st, 2012

Another amazing looking dust storm rolled through Phoenix tonight. At times it had the looks of the July 5th, 2011 version. This was a quick timelapse at a shot every 2 seconds before I got slammed by the trailing edge of this thing. It actually kind of wrapped around town from the east and the south.

Here’s an image from the storm below, check out some more right here.

A wall of dust from Jomax Road

Dust Storm Haboob Jomax Road Arizona

Just a quickie shot from Jomax Road at around 8pm on Wednesday evening. Dust storm rolled right across the entire Phoenix area and out the northwest side.

Loving that 14mm Rokinon lens I purchased not too long ago. Super wide fun.

 

Storms over Picacho Peak

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 70-200 2.8 is l, 105mm, iso 100, f/8.0, 1/800 sec // buy print)

Picacho Peak is an iconic mountain between Phoenix and Tucson. People love to hike it. I never have, but to me it’s sort of a midway marker…when I see it, I know half my journey is over.

Despite it being such a popular mountain, I’ve only taken 1-2 images of it and never anything worth keeping. But last week I finally came upon it with boiling thunderstorms building up overhead.

What I didn’t realize until processing this image was that you can actually make out a wall of dust approaching Picacho Peak. It’s low on the left side and higher on the right. After taking the photo, I left and turned back north towards Phoenix and within a few minutes I saw it in my rearview mirror. That’s when I started outracing the thing and then timelapsed it.

Was nice to get an early, monsoon-like sky this year. Usually it’s dull around here until July, so stormy clouds, a dust storm…was all a nice treat!

An early spring dust storm – May 9th, 2012

I got hit by and outraced this dust storm three times. First time I saw it and got hit was down by Eloy. I sped ahead of it on I-10, pulled over on highway 387 and shot it while looking west. I loved the juxtaposition of the cloud moving west while the dust storm moved north-northwest. That’s the first half of the timelapse.

Then I raced up I-10 again and pull over on Queen Creek Road as it rolled into Phoenix. When you watch, notice the little “gust-nadoes” spinning along the front of the dust wall!

Hope you enjoy! This is only May for the love!

Update: Here’s a zoomed in look at the gustnados. Those cars and that sign are Interstate 10.

The Climate Reality Project

Phoenix Haboob July 5th 2011

I wanted to post a quick little announcement and something I’m super excited about.

Today and tomorrow, the Climate Reality Project will be presenting their “24 Hours of Reality” across the world…24 presenters, 24 time zones, 13 languages and 1 message. The finale from what I’m told will be a live presentation on Current TV by Al Gore himself.

A huge event for these guys and I wish them the very best.

So what does this have to do with me? Well, I’m pumped to share that my timelapse of the July 5th Phoenix haboob/dust storm is a part of their presentation! These presentations, from what I learned awhile ago when they contacted me, are to be shown in person by the presenters, online via social media and also on TV when Al Gore does his part.

I haven’t seen it yet…and figure I’ll just catch it on Current TV tomorrow (Thursday, September 15th). You can see more info about the show on Current TV by clicking here.

Thanks to the people at the Climate Reality Project for wanting to include my video. I’m so humbled and thrilled that they found it to be something worthy of being a part of this special endeavor.

Yet another Phoenix dust storm – September 11, 2011

We’ve lost track of the number of large dust storms (or HABOOBS) that have rolled into Phoenix this monsoon season. Some people think it’s more than normal. I kind of think that the big one from July 5th put everyone on alert for these things and now anytime we get one it’s a big deal…and more noticeable. Dust storms are very commonplace out here and we get them every summer.

Granted, we may have had some pretty dry deserts, so the dust could just be a bit more plentiful than normal. Another thing that also may be a difference is that we’ve received a lot more weather moving up from the Tucson area than down from the Mogollon Rim like we usually do…and the Rim usually doesn’t send dust storms.

Either way…we got another one on Sunday night and it looked pretty good creeping over South Mountain.

Soooo…we had some severe storms all over AZ this weekend. Phoenix was forecast to see some of these storms Sunday afternoon/evening. I went to the usual parking garage (it’s so close to home and easy) when I saw some cells on radar moving NE towards town and I was praying a few would develop over Phoenix. I was also hoping that I’d catch these right at sunset and get some amazing colors in the sky coupled with some gorgeous cell structures.

Of course things never go how you want. We got another dust storm. I’m not complaining though, it was a beautiful sky, beautiful clouds and the dust was awesome as it rolled over the mountains into town.

And towards the end…you can still see a bit of a sunset.

A few notes for this timelapse:

1. Pay attention around the 22 second mark…the dust cloud creeping over the mountain is just cool. Looks like a rushing, crashing wave.
2. Hopefully the haters will be quiet now and enjoy a dust storm timelapse that not only keeps running, but doesn’t stop until the dust has passed. *grin*
3. The timelapse is made up of 836 images shot five seconds apart from 5:46pm until 6:55pm (roughly).
4. This was a full manual timelapse. Manual white balance, iso, shutter speed and aperture. I have to say…this ended up being some of the best results I’ve had so far doing this.

Hope you enjoy!

Severe storm with rotation near Picacho Peak

I actually didn’t learn this was a severe storm until a few minutes later, but I could tell it was nasty just by looking at it. Very strong downdraft that appeared to be hail, then the dust could be seen exploding in all directions…and the base of the storm itself looked like a very tiny wall cloud in a way.

Suddenly as I’m timelapsing, I notice a curious area of rotation that looks like a funnel up in the cloud. It could have been one, or not…but I did confirm with meteorologist Royal Norman that this storm indeed had rotation on it.

You can see the back end of the cell rotating…then you can see the the funnel feature appear on the top left area of the video towards the end.

(note, a minor editing mistake on the video after the slow-mo title, gonna fix when I can)