Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Skunk Bay Missile Crisis Over


This has been a very active few days…  My website, Twitter, Facebook and even this blog have had record breaking activity.  It has been impossible to keep up with it.  I have gotten hits and inquiries from all over the world.  I knew when I went public with these images, it was going to be very active.  Well…  I think that was an understatement.


Here is a little history and my reasoning for declaring the Skunk Bay Missile Crisis over. 

When I first saw that image, there was no doubt about it in my mind…  That was one big missile launch.  That’s why I waited for 24 hours before going public.  Cliff Mass and I shared several emails before he posted his blog.  As the day progressed, there were no reports of anybody else seeing it or hearing it.  That is a big, important fact.  A missile of that size would make a lot of noise.  But, the image was so compelling, I really could not completely let go of the theory.  I study these images every day…  Thousands and thousands of these images and have never seen anything like this.  But with no reports of anybody hearing it, I parked it in my mind as a mystery, rather than a fact.  Theories about it being a plane I discounted because they were not in the field of view of my cameras and I see thousands of planes fly over and they don’t look like this image at all.  Tyler Rogoway, an aviation specialist did a lot of research and found it matched an Airlift NW helicopter path perfectly.  But, I still could not buy into it.  Helicopters fly over all the time and they have never looked like that.  The conspiracy theories were rampant, but I could not get on board with them either….  I kept this thing parked as a mystery.  This morning I contacted Air Lift NW to find out if the Nav lights on the helicopter were different in any way.  I got a fairly quick response back from them after they talked with the pilot.  Here is the text:

"They were transiting from Bremerton to Bellingham on a standard instrument flight plan, flying in the clouds with night vision goggles. The search light was retracted flush under the nose, but did not switch off and was facing straight down."

So, the path of the helicopter matches perfectly and now that I know the searchlight was in a locked down position and still on, it makes sense now.

I know my cameras very well.  This was a unique situation that would have resulted in exactly this type of image.  I never thought it would be solved like this….  What an adventure.

I know that many folks will vehemently disagree with this assessment, much as I did in the beginning.  I hope they do continue to keep searching for another explanation, but in this case, I am 99% convinced this is the real solution.  I will always leave that 1% open out there because I love a good mystery…..  :)

Cliff Mass does a great job of giving the details in his blog this afternoon:

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2018/06/mystery-missile-launch-explained.html


 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Missile Launch On Whidbey Island?

I have been sitting on this since yesterday morning…. My night camera picked up what clearly looks like a very large missile launch from Whidbey Island. I really wanted more information before I shared this with the public. KOMO, KING and KIRO all contacted Whidbey NAS and the Department of Defense. They all said it didn’t come from them…. They said they don’t have the facility to launch large missiles. I ran this image by Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society and he said it was definitely not a meteor. It looked like a missile launch to him as well. I shared this with Cliff Mass yesterday and he did a blog on it this morning. It will be interesting if anybody from Whidbey heard or saw this event. 

Click on these images to see them full size.  Here is the full size image:



Here is a blown up crop of the "missile" at the top of the plume....






Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Nice Fireball Overnight

We had a very large fireball about 1:00am this morning. 

Here is the image and an overnight time lapse:


Here is a single image:

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Little Catch Up ..... Some Time Lapses From The Last Few Days....

There have been some incredible time lapses and images in the past few days and I am just now getting around to posting them.

Sunrise 5/25/18



An Aerial Sunset Video - 5/24/18


Sunset From Cam 1 - 5/24/18


A Starry Night Under A Bright Moon - 5/24/2018


On May 22 there was blue sky above me and fog all around.  I put the drone up to see what I could see...  It socked in really fast and I brought the drone down as fast as possible.  It made for an interesting video....


It's been a pretty active few days.  On another note, I am on Instagram now as well.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sunset - May 16, 2018

A very nice sunset last night....  Had to go up in the air to see it from here...


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

2018 Weather Workshop Video


I was asked to share my presentation video from the PNW Weather Workshop to the public this year.  I have also shared this video with the Hansville Community Center and the North Kitsap Puget Sound Anglers Association.  It is a 12 minute video that shows some of the beauty that has happened in the last year.  I cannot put it on Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook or Twitter because of copyright protection of the music.  I am probably at risk of a lawsuit for using and sharing this music... but… In my opinion, I am not only promoting the beauty of Mother Nature (more importantly), but I am also promoting the incredible music from the artists listed below as well as others.  For the record, I have NOT made a dime from this video.

George Winston
Phillip Wesley
Eric Clapton
John Barry

The closing song...  "Tears In Heaven" is a song that I ask you all reflect on.  The words and music are beautiful.  Eric Clapton wrote it to his 4 year old son who tragically fell to his death from a window in their 95th story apartment.  Chances are... We have all lost some important people in our lives recently.  I know I have....  My dream... and prayer.... is that heaven is as beautiful as the morning Mother Nature gave to my camera that day.

This video file is very large and I don’t want to reduce the quality too much. 

The best video (largest file) will be in 1080 here:  http://www.skunkbayweather.com/WeatherWorkshop2018.mp4

A slightly smaller file that "may" play well on slower connections is here: 

I really don’t want to reduce the quality below 720.  I am sorry to those who cannot play this video due to internet connection speed.

This is an image from the end of the video...



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Incredible Sunset....

Last night we had a remarkable sunset.  The images from all over were incredible.  This is an image from Cam1....


Here is a time lapse of the sunset into this morning's sunrise...  and a rainbow from yesterday.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sun Dog Sunrise......

This morning we had another awesome sunrise, but with an added bonus....  A brilliant Sun Dog that seems to chase the sun across the sky.  A Sun Dog is a vertical rainbow caused by the sun's reflection on ice crystals in high cirrus clouds.....



And a single image from the video above....


And...  A bit earlier in the morning we had a nice meteor....


Monday, April 23, 2018

A Few Time Lapse Videos and Images....

Thought I'd share a few images and time lapses from the last few days.

On the 21st, we had a pretty active sunrise...  A LOT of wind shear and colors....


This morning's sunrise was awesome....



My night camera has picked up a few meteors the last few nights....








Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sunset, Sunrise and a Very Starry Night....

It's been so long since we have seen blue in the sky, pink at sunset and sunrise and stars overnight....  It was almost an out of body experience.....  Thought I'd share some of the images and time lapses since yesterday afternoon....

This is a repeat, but it's worth repeating in my opinion....  Besides that, I am old enough that I have earned the right to repeat myself....  

Last night's aerial sunset...











Another sunset shot....


Here is a time lapse of Sunset into Sunrise...


And...  One more thing we haven't seen for quite a while...  A beautiful starry night....


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

First Sunset In A LONG Time

First, I'd like to say I had a great time last night at the Hansville Community Center "Tuesday Talk".  It was great to meet a few folks who use my site and an opportunity to share some of Mother Nature's beauty....  Plus have a little fun....  So after all the grim news I shared about the record rainfall since.... well...  A LONG LONG time ago.....  We finally had what could be considered a real sunset.  This is like.. "Breaking News"....  I ran outside just in time to get a few aerial shots.  This one seems the best.  Oh...... It feels so good to see something other than 60 shades of gray in the sky....



Saturday, April 14, 2018

How Wet Was It?....

Today is the 14th of April...  Less than half of the month has passed.  I have 12 years of data in my system, not a lot but still significant....  We just passed the highest April rainfall in my system and we still have 16 days to go...  and it's still pouring....  2011 was the rainiest April until today.  We had 2.81" that year.  Right now...  As I type we have 2.86"... and climbing....  Yes... It's wet... Really wet!  It's so wet that our yellow lab that swims in the 52 degree Skunk Bay water when it's 35 degrees out refused to fetch a tennis ball in our back yard while I was BBQing....  Correction...  As I typed we are now at 2.88"....  

Update:  The "Storm Total" of yesterday through 4:00am this morning is 1.05"...




Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Today.... 2 Different Days In One....

This morning was horrific...  Big rain and then some nasty wet wind and then.... The skies parted....  What a beautiful afternoon...  Here is a panoramic time lapse of today....

HD Link Here:  Panorama Time Lapse - 4/10/18


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Winds This Morning and Review of Yesterday....

The winds this morning were stronger than yesterday.  Our top gust this morning is 40mph and we hit 39mph yesterday.  It is starting to calm down now as I type....

For those brave enough to re-live yesterday...  Here it is in panorama....

HD Link: Panorama Review Of April 7th



Friday, April 6, 2018

Some Thoughts About Our Local Forecast For Saturday....

Edit From The 9:35AM Update:

The discussion continues to keep the low pretty far offshore which will diminish the effect of this storm.  Still talk of pretty good winds in the Admiralty Inlet area....

********
"So, in a nutshell, strong low just offshore, strong front, decent burst of high wind likely 
on the coast--some pretty good wind all around Admiralty Inlet, but then everything just sort
of fizzles out with just normal breezy blustery weather Saturday night and Sunday.
*********

There are some interesting points in this morning’s NWS Discussion.  I have taken a few snippets from the discussion and made some comments.  

The models are now showing the majority of the wind staying a little further offshore.  

******
“With the low tracking this far offshore the chances for high winds over most of
the interior are significantly diminished.“
*******

Sounds like we dodged a bullet.....But…..  Wait....  There's more.....  This is where our local forecast might have a little "nuance".....

*******
“With the strong south southwesterly flow aloft on Saturday there is the possibility of a meso surface low forming in the lee of the Olympics in the northeast portion of the Olympic peninsula Saturday afternoon.”
*******

This is also known as a “lee-side low”.  In simplest terms, this is caused by heavy winds coming over the Olympics causing a “vacuum” on the lee side.  This essentially lowers the barometric pressure further in a fairly small area.  The result of this would be higher winds in a fairly small area on the lee side of the Olympics....  Including Hansville.

*******
“If this feature develops expect the strongest winds over the interior to be in an area from about Everett to Whidbey Island.”
*******

This could be in our “wheelhouse”…..  We experience lee-side lows often.  This storm will be nothing like the winds that sank the Hood Canal bridge, but for reference, that was a lee-side low.  

*******
“Expect the strongest winds on the Coast during the day and over the interior ( 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph except possibly higher in the Everett to Whidbey Island area ) in the afternoon and evening hours.”
*******
So….  We are not out of the woods yet.  Localized forecasts can be very difficult to call….  My gut....  I wouldn't be surprised to see a 40+ mph gust on Saturday....  Enough to get our attention, but nothing catastrophic....  


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Huge Atmospheric River Coming To The West Coast....

Cliff Mass's blog today is...  well... exhausting....  He used that word at the end and I think it describes it well.  Pretty incredible weather for this time of year....  As bad as it may be for us, the poor folks in California are going to get hit again....  

This is a good read:  Cliff's Atmospheric River Blog


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Update.... Cliff Mass Uses This Video In His Blog On Virga.... "A Squall Coming And Going.... From The Air And Ground"....

Cliff Mass used the video below in his blog on Virga yesterday....  There has been a lot lately....

We had a pretty healthy squall move through today.  I grabbed some aerial footage before it hit and then rendered a variety of time lapses from the ground.  Mother nature is pretty awesome up close....

Best view in HD here: http://www.skunkbayweather.com/Squall0325.mp4



A Couple Of Time Lapses.... Faint Aurora and Incredible Clouds

I was very surprised to see a faint Aurora show on last night's time lapse. The KP level was very low.... It was also a beautiful evening.  Thought I would share this one....

Best watched full screen here: http://www.skunkbayweather.com/FaintNL032518.mp4



The clouds before sunset yesterday were awesome.  This is a time lapse of each cam at sunset and then sunrise this morning....

Best watched full screen here: http://www.skunkbayweather.com/SunsetIntoSunrise032518.mp4


Friday, March 23, 2018

Incredible Squall Today From Multiple Perspectives....

The squall that moved through today was filled with beauty and energy. I was able to capture it from three different perspectives. 

First, it started with an awesome rainbow: 



Then, the rain subsided for a brief window where I could take some aerial video. This is probably the most interesting perspective.  It is best viewed full screen here:


This is the same video on YouTube:




And after it was all done, I was able to put together a panorama time lapse video.  Best viewed full screen here:


This is the same video on YouTube:


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Looking out at the gray and rainy day we are having today...  I thought I would post a video from yesterday.  It was so beautiful out.  

Best watch full screen in HD here: A Beautiful Day In The Pacific NorthWet .  

Watch for the eagles at the top of the tree on the way up and at the end of the video again where they finally fly away. 



Monday, March 19, 2018

Video From Above The Fog and More Evidence Of Seal OVERPopulation....




This morning I found a new use for my drone.  I was getting ready to go fishing and fog started settling in…  I decided to put my drone up to see how bad it was.  Fortunately it was clear directly above me so I could put it up safely.  Fog in action from above is beautiful….  Thought I would share this….  We live in Mother Nature's paradise....



So...  You are probably all wanting to ask how I did fishing.... ;)  
 
Unfortunately, I think I went over my limit.....  Don't tell the game warden....  I caught 3 seals today...  I think the limit is two.....;)  One nailed a small 20" chinook....  The next one nailed about an 8-9lb chinook that I chased for 20 minutes or so....  Finally he held up the fish about 20ft. away like he wanted me to take a picture of his "trophy" catch....  Then, I had another 8-9lb chinook on up close to the boat.  This seal was kind enough to leave me with the head..... At least I can use it for crab bait.... (Picture Below)  

For those that don't know, seals and sea lions follow sport fishing boats and when they are playing a fish, they go after it....  Always been a problem but it has gotten out of hand.....   

The resident Orcas are dying...  Wild salmon populations are becoming extinct....  In fact.... even with the incredible work of many hatcheries, the salmon population is declining.....  Yet.... We continue to protect and feed the predator that is decimating one of the most valuable resources in the Northwest.  It is time to start controlling the population of this out of control predator.....
     
Meanwhile... Here is my catch of the day....




Friday, March 16, 2018

Stars, Faint Aurora, Small Meteors, Virga and a Low Flying Airplane....

Thought I would share a couple of things this morning.  Yesterday afternoon we had a plane fly by BELOW our house.....  We have a 40' bank and it is below that.  It was less than 200' from our bank too....  In this case, FAA regs state that it needs to be 500' above and away from any structures.  If he was 500' away from the bank he could be at the deck.  As a drone operator, this makes me even more cautious.  My drone was right in his flight path last week.  It is my responsibility to yield, but when a plane is coming by at 100mph below tree top level, I would have had very little time to respond at 20mph....   Unfortunately there isn't enough detail in these photos to get his number.



Last night resulted in a pretty nice video showing incredible stars, a faint Aurora, a few small meteors and watch closely at the beginning there is some nice virga (rainfall that evaporates before it hits the ground)....

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Beautiful Starry Night and Weak Aurora Show

After the clouds cleared last night, we had a beautiful starry night and a weak Northern Lights show.  

Best to watch full screen here:  
http://www.skunkbayweather.com/FaintAuroraShow030918.mp4

or YouTube for slower connections:


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A Beautiful Sunny / Foggy Morning From The Air....

Edit: 3/7/18 7:00AM

The video and images from yesterday have gotten a lot of attention.

Cliff Mass does a nice job of peaking my curiosity of what drones might be capable of in his blog this morning:  

Cliff Mass's Blog On Weather Drones

Scott Sistek and KOMO used the videos and images yesterday on his blog and gives a very nice FOG 101 lesson...  

Scott Sistek's "Fog Blog"

WeatherNationTV is running some of this content today as well.______________________________________

3/6/18

This morning it was clear out front, but thought I would put the drone up to see what was out there...  It was quite a surprise.  This is video is a little over 2 minutes...  The sights are incredible from 390'....



A short video showing the fog rolling downhill.



And then a bunch of images from this morning:




















Friday, March 2, 2018

Transient Orcas?....

Edit: 9:45AM 3/2/18
Some experts are chiming in now.  Theory is leaning toward gray whales, but still no clear identification....
_______________________________________

Yesterday morning when I was doing some aerial photography, I saw something on my tablet that I couldn’t recognize. It actually just looked like pixelation, but it was different. I walked out to the edge of our bank and looked back up the bay and couldn’t see anything. I was looking into the glare from the sun and there was a lot of flotsam in the water. I didn’t think much of it.
When I got back and downloaded the images I was shocked at what I found. This almost looks like it could have been a pod of transient Orcas chasing a seal/seals into shallow water….
Oh…. The woulda, shoulda, coulda’s that I have been feeling since finding this. If only I had it in video mode I could have captured the event….. The Orca theory is just speculation on my part. It seems like the only logical explanation. You can see the images of at least 3 of the large mammals in the water. It would take something the size of an Orca to make waves like this….






Thursday, March 1, 2018

End Of Rain Season - First Day Of Meteorological Spring



March 1st is the first day of Meteorological Spring.  Spring sure sounds nice, doesn’t it?  So today I am closing the books on February.  This “should” be the end of the theoretical “Rain Season” for us.  Traditionally for our area this is defined as the 4 month period from November through February. 

Uhmmm…  I think we can easily define this last 4 months as a RAIN season all in CAPS…..   There are some pretty remarkable numbers…
 
After last night’s little deluge, we ended up with 20.22” of rain in the last four months.   That is more rain than we had in the FULL YEAR (12 Months) of 2008 and 2013.  My data only goes back 12 years, but there are still some interesting numbers here.  Below is a bar graph of the last 12 “Rain Seasons”.






As you can see, the last 3 Rain Seasons have been pretty hefty…   On a side note, the 2006/2007 was the period including the Hanukkah  Eve storm.  That period we had some record rains for November (9.78”) and December (6.11”) …. 

If we sort this and put it into a matrix, it really shows the magnitude of this past four months and how the last few years have been pretty wet.


On a brighter note….  Let’s enjoy the first day of Meteorological Spring!  This video taken this morning.... :)




Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Review Of The Past Few Days....

I have some catching up to do.  Thought I would just share some of the posts I have done in this past week....  This will be in reverse order:

Last night (2/26) there was a beautiful sky over Northern Hood Canal.  Aerial photography gives a totally different perspective....



The previous few days were very active.  This was what Sunday looked like.  Rain coming and going and feeding the convergence zone to our south....



Thought I would share the image I just made as my desktop:


This is an aerial video taken just before the graupel storm on Sunday....  



On Sunday there was another disabled ship towed into Seattle.  That makes 2 in 2 weeks.  This one was an engine room explosion off the coast of Oregon.  Nobody was injured, but the ship was disabled.  It was right around sunrise when it came by...


Here is a little more information about this ship and the incident:

On Friday 2/23 my night cam picked up some "light pillars".  This is a vertical rainbow effect caused by light from the ground reflecting through ice crystals....




Later Friday morning a very unusual ship came by.  It came from Shanghai and was transporting new port cranes to Tacoma.  



On Thursday 2/22 I caught this image of the tug Eagle off Double Bluff...