A Peculiar Experience
Almost immediately behind a powerful complex of thunderstorms, enough instability remained above the cool, moist, somewhat hazy air near the surface to generate still more deep convection. One can tell that this towering cumulus clump is somewhat starved for buoyancy by its soft, translucent appearance, and the hole almost directly centered on the cloud mass. We were too bedazzled by the beautiful, subtle, pastel peculiarity of the light to do much real-time, scientific inquisition of the scene, however. Twice-reflected sunlight shone off unseen anvil material above us, on the back edge of the storm complex, then offf the tops of the convective mass. Meanwhile, only indirect sunlight shone through the towers, thanks to shadowing by another field of clouds to the distant WNW (out of view). All this caused an uncommon phenomenon: nearly even, indirect illumination of the towers from all sides. The strangeness of the scene on this open Kansas highway only was enhanced by the passage of an Austrian cross-country cyclist, followed closely by a garishly decorated car blaring German-language techno music out of numerous loudspeakers. In sum total, this was an experience surely not to occur again in our lifetimes.
2 SE Ford KS (13 Jun 10) looking W