I had the honor and privilege of being one of the guest speakers at the Seattle Mariners' Weather Education Day event on Wednesday at Safeco Field just before the game. And for my speech, I presented a "weather highlight" reel that featured some of the best video and images -- many of it from readers -- that have appeared in this blog over the past year.
It was broken down into four main sections -- the first dealing with signs in the sky that let you forecast the weather on your own sometimes.
We featured plenty of lenticular clouds -- those spooky "cap" or "alien" clouds that hover around Mt. Rainier or Mt Baker -- as conditions that present those clouds are usually prevalent about 24 hours in advance of rain.
When you see them, they might look like they are floating in place, but air is flowing through the clouds yet the clouds just stand in place.
This type of pattern usually occurs about a day before rain arrives so you can think of these clouds as the mountains getting their umbrellas and hats ready.
There are a few other signs in the skies that rain is on its way about a day away. When you see these brilliant rainbow halos or little streaks of color in the skies -- these coming up I've heard called "fire rainbows" -- are formed from the ice crystals in those high, thin clouds that refract sunlight like a prism.
A similar effect can also be seen around the moon and it too usually precedes rain.
Usually those high clouds are the first clouds in ahead of an approaching front -- thus the usual 24 hour warning of rain, but it's not 100%, which I guess means there's still some use for us.
I also briefly touched on the sun coming into the most active period of its usual 11 year cycle of activity, expected to peak in the spring of 2013. That means more sunspots, and more solar flares -- and likely more frequent displays of the Northern Lights, perhaps even as far south as Seattle. But as you'll see, I showcased some other incredible aurora displays in more typical spots like Iceland and Norway.
The rest of the video was a variety of "eye candy". If you're looking for more information about anything you saw, I've provided links below the video to each blog entry that was featured:
BLOG ENTRIES FEATURED:
First two images
Second two images
Lenticular above Mt. Baker
Video of lenticular above Mt. Baker
Tine lapse of Rainier lenticular (third movie down)
Other Sun Tricks:
Sun dogs over West Seattle
Fire Rainbow (Anacortes)
Fire Rainbow (Mt. St. Helens)
Quilcene Fish Hatchery
Sun blast video
Northern Lights over Mt. Hood
Northern Lights atop Icelandic Volcano Pics
Northern Lights over Puget Sound area
Ole Salomsen's Northern Lights compilation video from Norway
Southern Lights as seen from the International Space Station
Winter's Wrath on Four Wheels
2 Sunroof Ice Photos
Switzerland cars coated in ice
Waist Deep Hail in Texas
Mother Nature Shows Off
Mt. Rainier Heavenly photo
Sun shadow behind Mt. Rainier
Olympic Mountain Shadow on the clouds
Mirages over Whidbey Island
Mysterious cloud over Port Townsend
SuperMoon over Seattle
Stars take a spin around Mt. Rainier
Vashon Island Fog Time Lapse
Florida condos create their own weather
Four waterspouts seen in Alabama
Dust Storm In Phoenix
Wave Clouds In Alabama
Video showing tornado going down Kentucky street
Thunderstorms as seen from International Space Station
Dale Ireland Videos can all be found on his memorial page