Greetings, although the month is ongoing with the potential for producing even more surprise opportunities, it's worth sharing what has already come to pass. Despite a few cold spells, conditions have been relatively mild (with even a couple thunderstorm events) and a far cry from what it was this time a few years ago. Winter is not done with us yet though as snow is expected for the last full week of the month.
January 31st - Winter sunrises are among my favorite and I was beginning to think January wouldn't produce however, the last day proved otherwise as a well timed warm front lifting through the region went off at daybreak.
February 1st - Massive flocks of migrating geese were a daily sight.
February 2nd - Marginal risk for severe weather that did not materialize yet produced a few storms of interest along a highly sheared frontal boundary to pass this day. The area of greatest concern was in Southeast Illinois where nothing of significance occurred either. Was still nice to get a taste of spring.
February 5th - Mysterious 'Ice Bells' at Lake Shelbyville. There isn't much information on this phenomena but I believe they are formed by a slow melt process where previous high water ice accretions (or snowfall) congeal into a semi-solid state as bright sunlight alters water molecules despite sub-freezing temperatures. Note the optics in the first as the reflection is 'right reading' thus you can see the sunset horizon within the frozen conglomerate much like viewing through a periscope.
February 6th - More geese...
February 7th - Even more geese! (and a beaver at Weldon Springs, Clinton IL)
February 9th - Snowflakes vs. DVD
February 18th - Another well timed warm front passage only now it was during sundown at Lake Shelbyville
February 20th - Storms at Ramsey Illinois and a TRUE taste of spring for both the sound of thunder as well as frogs beginning to awake!
February 21st - This guy has been hanging out in the bathroom. Rather than kill it, 15 second exposure in complete darkness vs. portable U/V lamp while being light painted with a lazer beam.