Sunlight illuminates mist left over from a turbulent lenticular collapse.
Talk about one of your all-time storm fizzles. After the last wave of the dropped almost 3 feet of snow at my house, the next wave was supposed to leave another 2 feet or so. In reality, it has left little snow. It has rained significantly on Monday but this only accelerated the melting process of the snow that fell last week. With little forecasted for Tuesday and then sunshine after that, it appears that the last wave of the big storm has dissipated with a whimper. Consider that assessment the end of my reporting on the storm of January, 2021.
A lot of melting has already taken place!
Far more interesting was the sunrise I saw this morning. While everything from Black Butte south was cloudy, windy and generally stormy (though with little precipitation), in Mount Shasta’s rainshadow conditions were sublime. When I got up this morning I could see that it was clear north of the mountain and so I headed out, ultimately finding myself at the base of Sheep Rock. It was an absolutely stunning morning, spent in peaceful isolation. All I could hear was the breeze, a howling coyote and the sound of a distant train whistle. The clouds provided a magnificent performance in all directions.
Though they were silent, they were a joy to watch as they raced around the peaks surrounding the Shasta Valley, their shape in constant flux.
The clouds sailing over the Whaleback were lovely.
Despite the great scene all around the Shasta Valley, the most spectacular display was on Mount Shasta. When I arrived a lenticular cloud had seemingly collapsed into a misty wave. It washed down the northeastern flanks of the mountain, leaving a well formed lenticular still lingering on Mount Shasta. This process occurred a second time. The cloud seemed to gather, obscuring the lenticular and then collapsed again, once again washing down the northeastern slopes. I was ready this time and captured it as the mist flowed down the slopes.
I reckoned it might happen again and began taking images for a time lapse. Sure enough, the cloud gathered again and then washed down the mountain, leaving the lenticular revealed over Mount Shasta. It was a magnificent display to witness, let alone witness it thrice!
By the time the third iteration was done, the sun was up. I am not sure if that influenced the clouds behavior but it did not happen a fourth time. It was time to go. I silently said goodbye to the coyote, wherever it was and headed home. On the way I stopped and captured one more image of Mount Shasta with its messy lenticular from the road to Whitney Falls. After that, it was back to the stormy environs of home. I can’t wait for the remnants of the storm to pass and get a clear view of Mount Shasta once again. I am, however, thankful for all the snow. This isn’t such a bad winter after all!