It was a bit of a surprise considering there wasn't much solar flare activity but the Northern Lights made a faint appearance over Western Washington Monday night.
Those who were up early enough Sunday morning in Surrey, B.C. and happened to look up were treated to a spectacular scene in the heavens that looks like something straight out of the imagination of a futuristic Hollywood alien blockbuster film.
In actuality, it was the combination of two rather routine events that just happened to have impeccable timing:
A sunrise (one for the ages on its own) …and a plane descending through a solid, stable cloud layer.
Drivers stopped along the park's main highway Thursday morning to gaze in awe and shoot photos of the rare phenomenon hovering over Grand Teton mountain. At 13,775 feet above sea level, the Grand Teton is the highest point in the Teton Range.
The mystery surrounding a white, milky rain that fell across Eastern Washington and parts of Oregon and Idaho Friday has a new theory, although I'd call it more of a tweak of the previous theory.
The event coated vehicles and windows in more than 15 cities, including Spokane, the Tri-Cities, and Hermiston, Oregon. Initial thoughts of the source originating as volcanic ash from a distant eruption or debris blown from summer wildfire-scarred terrain were quickly disproven.
With all the hype over the big storm off Alaska's (far) west coast and the talk of the impending arctic doom and gloom heading toward the Midwest this week being blamed on this storm, you might think the photo above is current -- or a forecast of how much snow is about to fall out there.
Well, no. Not quite.
El Nino may be flaking out on its winter date with us again, but for skiers and snowboarders it'd be akin to having better plans lined up anyway.
The latest word from NOAA is that the odds of El Nino forming this winter are down to 58 percent -- a far cry from the 80 percent chances we had in the early summer.
Forecasts are still indeed for El Nino conditions to develop this winter (better hurry up!) but now we're leaning toward a borderline event that may just barely qualify.
Days like today are not unheard of in Denver and the Midwest when you've got a massive cold front barreling through... but they're still fun to marvel at.
Check out how residents there kicked off their work week:
This is one of those times that if you have a large, HD monitor around, go find it and then reload this blog. It'll be worth it.
Mike Olbinski, a fantastic photographer who lives in Arizona, has spent the summer chasing the monsoon storms that wrought towering thunderclouds, vivid lightning, incredible downpours and intense dust storms.
I'm sure we've all had times where a rain shower has ruined a picnic, or perhaps turned your commute into a trip rivaling Wagner's "The Ring" for length of time.
But I'll bet it's never cost you a cool half million dollars!