Friday, February 28, 2014

Giant Steam Spouts

With an air temperature hovering around 16°F, I took the opportunity yesterday to get out for some fresh air and hopefully photograph with success, a phenomena I had heard about but not quite fully experienced just yet. Warm water discharge from the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant keeps much of Clinton Lake open through the winter. The high thermal contrast between subfreezing air vs. unfrozen water creates a unique environment for a variety of weather related phenomena to occur when wind profiles are cooperative as they were this day.

With the sun to your back, spouts can be difficult to observe.

Looking in the direction of sunlight better reveals their form.

Easily a good 20' to 30' in height.

Once they make 'landfall', they quickly rope out and dissipate.

Besides slender tubes, giant circulations churned their way onshore as well.

Out over open water, some ascended to at least 50' or higher.

One of these days I'll invest in a better video camera.

and from this morning...

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