General Weather/Earth Sciences Topics > Weather Photography

In Flight Clouds Including Virga

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Randall Kayfes:
Virga is awesome but really shines when taken in flight... In fact in flight photography of all clouds give a very unique perspective of our weather.


I know that pilots are busy, but at times they must have a moment to grab pictures of spectacular clouds.  I'd think that they'd have a unique opportunity to get weather and cloud photos.  A few years ago a commercial airline pilot had some incredible thunderstorm pictures taken after dark.  There was chatter about  faked pix, but he had taken his cell phone camera and wedged it close to the window and grabbed some photos of a storm in, I believe, South America that were amazing.  And they see this all the time.

I don't get to fly much, and since I retired no longer do for work which was the main reason I could go places.
I was returning from Jacksonville, FL and at sunset had a window on the east side of the plane.  My relatively good luck that the plexigas wasn't too chewed up or dirty and got this picture of the antisolar point as the sun was setting, and a few clouds to the west were casting their shadows.

I love clouds.  I appreciate those who do take photos and share them. [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Thanks to search engine magic, I found a few from the pilot/photographer I was thinking of. I'm sure they have much cleaner windows that the passengers do!

One other impressive time I recall was flying from Kansas City back to Minneapolis at near sundown and seeing  some isolated, relatively small but very energetic climbing updrafts making an impressive series of one after another that we were passing by. I thought we were in for a tooth-rattling ride, but it was as smooth as silk, and after sunset they calmed down.   No lighting which was a huge disappointment, but still memorable.  Smart phones weren't common or exist at all, so I have no images except in my mind.

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