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July-August 2017

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From the Editor

One fact that I have learned in my years in the weather community is that photography and weather are often inextricably linked. While obviously weather phenomena exist without recorded documentation, they are by nature ephemeral creatures that elude capture. When an observer is lucky enough to photograph a phenomenon, it becomes much easier to perform a post-mortem—analyzing, dissecting, and studying the event so we can learn more.

Separate from the science-based impetus to study photographs of weather events is the value of capturing some of nature's most spectacular phenomena from an artistic perspective. Whether it is an amazing sunset over the open ocean, a rain shaft falling from a cumulus cloud, or a swirling tornado tearing across the landscape, weather photographs provide some of the best examples of the power, beauty, and excitement that can be found in nature. At Weatherwise, we try to showcase spectacular weather photography as often as possible, whether that is through illustrations for feature articles or the work of amateur photographers in our annual Photo Contest.

In “Photographing Weather in the Dark,” Walt Lyons notes that most weather photographers concentrate their efforts solely on daytime weather events. But, he notes, plenty of weather occurs at night, and we would be remiss if we ignored the plethora of photographic opportunities at night simply because of the dark. With the right equipment and the right know-how, even amateur photographers can capture some of the most amazing phenomena nature has to offer. These include lightning, sprites, gigantic jets, aurorae, supercells, thunderstorms, and moonbeams. So next time you're outside at night, see what you can find in the sky that might make a great photo … you never know what awaits you!

One place where you are likely to find fascinating weather day and night is Nebraska. In our latest installment in the climate and weather of the 50 states, Ken Dewey and Mike Mogil teach us more about this land of extremes in the middle of our great nation, where tornadoes, floods, drought, and blizzards are all par for the course.

Also in this issue, Frank Larson takes a light-hearted look at some of the most well-known weather-related idioms and expressions in the English language. From the well-known to the obscure, each of these expressions has a basis in observational forecasting of old, so we would do well to pay heed, just as our ancestors did.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Weatherwise. As always, I welcome feedback!


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