Monday, June 21, 2010

Wild spring weather and Billings tornado

The rain continues here in Western Montana, it's been pretty impressive by our arid standards. The wet weather seems to be the topic of conversation everywhere you go. The natives are getting restless and want some consistent sunshine. Sure there have been a sprinkling of very nice days in there, pushing into the 80's but in general the valley has been unpredictable at best for the last 1.5 months.

I was curious as to how many days it has actually rained since May, so I took a look at the Missoula Rainfall totals on the NWS site

May - 15 days of 0.01" of precipitation. We received 1.6", compared to a normal average rainfall of 1.8"

June - It has rained 15 of the 20 days so far (days w/ more than 0.01"), damn that's wet. Totals for the month so far are 3.47", normal for the month of June is 1.8".

Yesterday in Missoula there was some very impressive weather, huge dark cells set up over the valley and dropped some huge rainfall in a short amount of time. Some hail fell, but nothing notable. However, over in Billings a tornado touched down, check out some footage of that.

Wind speeds from the tornado were estimated to range between 111 and 135 mph, National Weather Service meteorologist Keith Meier said. The last time Yellowstone County, which includes Billings, had that scale of a tornado was July 2, 1958, he said.

some more footage of Billings Fathers Day tornado >>

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bug hatch of epic proportions

Good god, this is a lot of bugs. Rock Creek's salmonfly hatch should be right around the corner. But at this point Rock Creek is flowing almost twice the normal flows, we've had a weird run off this spring. I would guess if the rain lets up, it will start to drop pretty quick.

A mayfly hatch along the Mississippi River was caught on Doppler radar out of NWS La Crosse on Saturday, May 29, 2010. The radar view below shows an image at 9:13 p.m. CDT.

The bugs are showing up as bright pink, purple, and white colors along the Mississippi River mainly south of La Crosse, WI. After the bugs hatch off the water and river areas, they are caught in the south-southeast winds while airborne for about 10-20 minutes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Doin' it Baja series

Doin' it Baja looks like it will a good series to follow if you like the desert and the beach. I recently finished watching Part 1 of 8 while sipping on a Michelada. I had drank the Miller Chills etc, but saw a recipe to make your own. Tasty. I squeezed a 1/2 lime into a pint glass, a few dashes of Worchester, couple drops of Tapitio, followed by a Pacifico..........magnifico

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lolo Pass winter time-lapse

I'm intrigued by a time-lapses, especially those that involve snow. I watched this 5 foot dump in Big Bear and this Sunshine Village time-lapse, then decided I might attempt my own.

The technique(s) I used were pretty rudimentary but fairly effective. Basically I visited the MT DOT site and downloaded an image from their Lolo Pass webcam whenever I could remember to do so. I left a huge gap during the month of March, which just so happened to coincide with a serious lack of snowfall. My original intent was to capture the massive snow berms (and their ebb/flow) that usually stack up on the side of the highway. This winter however, was not all that impressive. Nonetheless, it is interesting. Let me know what you think.

Lolo Pass time lapse 2009-10 winter from O.P.I. on Vimeo.

And if you want to see how the pros do it, check out