Mini Challenge #350: Weather - the Extremes

CavalierCavalier Registered Users Posts: 2,966 Major grins

This mini is not about normal weather patterns or blue-bird skies, but rather only extreme weather. Since our "sunny" California and the rest of the world has been hit with record snowfall, record rains, lenthy cold snaps and of course, record wildfires over the past few years why not take advantage of it. Kind of dark, but it's top of the news lately and appears to be lots of photo opportunities.
The entries can be from any year and any extreme weather event. Since "extreme" can be in the mind of the beholder, the event should be out of the normal weather for the area. A description of the event would be helpful as well.

This mini starts today, March 17, 2023 and ends at 5pm (PST) Friday, March 31, 2023 (HAPPY St.Patrick's Day!)

Here's the link to the un-official rules:

and here are a few examples:

Snowmeggedon 2023 - Sierra Nevada foothills, California (normally at snowline altitude and receive a few inches yearly)

The Misquito Wildfire, September 2022 same area as Snowmeggedon - record drought.

Not my photo, but spectacular shot of Misquito Wildfire about a mille or so from my home. CalFire VLAT (very large Airtanker) dropping fire retardant ahead of fire line.

And once this year's snow started to melt, I found a very large white Buffalo in one of my Weeping Cherry trees.


  • sapphire73sapphire73 Registered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 1,821 moderator
    edited March 20, 2023

    @Cavalier, thank you for posting such an interesting challenge! I will have to take a look through my photos to see what might fit. Some examples might be subtle, like returning to the Tetons after visiting 40 years ago and seeing smoky skies above those beautiful mountains due to the wild fires further west. We also experienced some of the heavy rains and closed roads while visiting California in January this year. But I must also have some good photos of heavy snowstorms and ice storms somewhere. Or perhaps pull out photos of the aftermath of a derecho. Lots of options now that I think about it!

    Coming back to add some photos. One thing I realized is that I tend to use my cell phone to photograph extreme weather events rather than my DSLR. And even then, I am usually capturing the impact of the storm or drought. I may come back and switch these out with some others later. We'll see.

    1) Drenching rains, Los Angeles, California January 14, 2023 (taken with cell phone)
    We finally got out to California to visit someone whose home overlooks the Hollywood sign and the White Mountains off in the distance. It rained for three days while we were there and his typical view eluded us. During our trip we saw flooded areas, closed roads, and small mudslides recently cleared. The state parks in Big Sur were closed but Point Lobos State Park reopened on the day we got there.

    2) Derecho in southeastern Pennsylvania on June 3, 2020 (taken with cell phone)
    This was a powerful windstorm with 80 mph winds that came through my town and many others near Philadelphia and knocked down trees, electric wires, etc. Our dead-end street was blocked by a huge tree until a tree surgeon cleared part of the road. We had a downed power line in our backyard and were without power for several days. But this was a minor inconvenience compared to neighbors who had trees fall onto their homes. Many of our neighbors decided to take down the large trees in their yards because of this storm.

    3) Tree weighed down by heavy, wet snowfall in January 2011
    I grew up near Chicago and was used to lots of snow but was surprised to learn how much damage a heavy, wet snowfall can do to shrubs and trees. I have learned to go outside with a broom and try to lighten the load on the branches when I can, lifting up the branches to jostle the snow off.

    These additional photos are not intended to be entries

    Another rainy day in Los Angeles, just before we left to head north (taken with cell phone)

    Photo of our road blocked after derecho came through on June 3, 2020 (taken with cell phone)
    (I have a better photo showing the size of the tree that fell but my neighbors are standing in the background.)

    Storm on Sanibel Island July 29, 2017 (taken with cell phone)
    Afternoon thunderstorms are typical in Florida but this was a stronger storm, and I was surprised to find this man continuing to fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • grandmaRgrandmaR Registered Users Posts: 1,911 Major grins
    edited March 18, 2023

    This was harder than I thought it would be. I have some photos of weather, but not that many of extreme or unusual weather.

    In November 2008, we visited Grand Turk a month or two after they had a cat 3 hurricane. The British Navy came to the island with 300 body bags but they didn't have to use any of them. The island residents were getting on with life. The cruise ship pier had just been rebuilt. The city hall was unsafe for occupancy. The children were going to school in tents. Oil tanks were just piles of steel. I took this photo of a stop sign.

    1. Still Standing

    In the winter of 1995-1996, Baltimore had a record snowfall - the most snow that had fallen in the city up to that time. First we had some ice. (I was trying to remove it - it was a couple inches on our steps. Solid - I was using a hammer but Bob stopped me - he said it would hurt the steps more than the ice.) Then over three days we had 21 inches of snow, and then three days later there was another 6 inches. Bob shoveled the snow off the street into our yard. The pile of snow lasted there until April or May. Unfortunately this photo was taken with a point and shoot 35 mm camera from my porch. But maybe you can see the shoveled snow is almost taller than my car.

    1. Hidden car

    This last one is maybe stretching the concept of weather, but if you include fires, this should be included also. We were in Antigua and we took a helicopter tour to Montserrat. We were on our way to the old capitol when the pilot suddenly said, "There's a pyroclastic flow." There were clouds of ash in the air and the pilot wanted to stay out of that area. We could see the hot ash reaching the sea and there was steam rising from the sea, and the houses that had been partly covered with lava had smoke rising them them as the hot ash set fire to remaining combustible material.

    1. Pyroclastic flow - you can see the dust cloud at the top of the picture - it could have gotten into the helicopter engine and caused us to crash

    Not for the mini but to illustrate other photos of Montserrat - boiling sea

    and burning houses

    “" adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • sapphire73sapphire73 Registered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 1,821 moderator
    edited March 19, 2023

    @grandmaR My husband and I went to Montserrat in 1978. There was some special airline fare that made it possible to visit three islands. It was a little frightening to land on the narrow airstrip but we had a lovely, brief visit. Sorry that the volcano erupted and affected much of the area we saw. Thank you for sharing the photos!

  • TonyCooperTonyCooper Registered Users Posts: 2,271 Major grins

    This is a close as I can get to an "extreme weather" photo. It was taken in August of 2004 right after Hurricane Charley hit Orlando, Florida. A photo of a downed pine tree in my front yard is not something I'd normally retain, but in this one the subject is really an extremely cute grandson. He's now a sophomore in college.

    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
  • CavalierCavalier Registered Users Posts: 2,966 Major grins

    @sapphire73 @grandmaR @TonyCooper

    Thanks for your interesting and right-on-topic entries!

    And for the back stories - that helps so much. Especially you @TonyCooper - You could have titled your photo as just "Hurricane Charley", which would have told a very different story! (cute grandson, by the way!)

  • GSPePGSPeP Registered Users Posts: 3,502 Major grins
    1. After the tornado (East Germany, July 2005)

    1. Frosty

    1. Rain in the background

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