Weather Blog

Mt. Rainier ALMOST puts on a spectacular show

Mt. Rainier ALMOST puts on a spectacular show
Photo: Tim Thompson

Looks like we were oh-so-close to quite a spectacular show that was building over Mt. Rainier Thursday.

Conditions were perfect for lenticular clouds -- also known as the "cap cloud" to form.

First a bit of background: Local photographer Tim Thompson famously captured this incredible photo of lenticular clouds over Mt. Rainier on Dec. 5, 2008. That blog entry and ensuing e-mail chains have gone viral and has over a million hits now, plus I still get e-mails about it to this day.

Anyway, Tim was out again snapping photos of Mt. Rainier as lenticular clouds began to build on Thursday. Only this time, the approaching cold front was too fast, and clouds moved in before the show could really get going. It appears we were close to get a multiple-stack of clouds over the mountain plus another cluster off to our left. But you can see the high clouds moving in which eventually canceled the show.

Here are some of the photos he did get before the show ended:

By the way, some of you have e-mailed me about those original Rainier photos that you may have had e-mailed to you (there are like 5 versions running around) -- one version has a picture purporting to be Mt. St. Helens. It's actually Mt. Fuji, and was not part of my original blog. Someone along the way pasted that in the chain and then got the caption wrong :)