Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bluff Knoll Blizzard

Recently I've been learning a little about how to predict snow falls, especially in southern WA.

Snow is almost unheard of in this state but at 1095m above sea level, Bluff Knoll does enjoy a some light falls a few times a year.

I had been watching the weather charts all week and it was looking good for today and tomorrow. When I checked today's forecast this morning, it had possible snow drifts predicted for the Stirling Range this afternoon and evening.

My wife and I headed out to Bluff Knoll around 3pm. The sun was shining, the wind was light and there were clouds drifting across the top of Bluff Knoll. There was a definite chill in the air, but it was beautiful and serene.

I set my DSLR camera up on a tripod right next to my car so I could sit in relative warmth. I attached a timer cable and when I was done taking a few test shots, I looked up and there no more sunlight anywhere.

I set the timer to take one picture every five seconds and left it to shoot until the memory card was full.

Janet had "gone for a walk" and sent me a text message warning of some approaching dark clouds. The storm was soon with me and it hit with a vengeance. I was busy trying to tie the tripod down so it wouldn't blow over, as sleet whipped past me, piling up on the back window of the car, and soaking through my jacket and jeans.

Janet was "somewhere" on the walk trail, sheltering beside trees and basically getting soaked. She had a great time watching flurries of snow.

While I could only describe the weather I witnessed in the car park as "sleet" rather than "snow", there were people on top of the mountain and they most definitely enjoyed the real thing, even if it did arrive horizontally and and great speed. We met the brave souls before we packed up and they showed us photos of the snow on the ground. There was enough to make some snow balls.

The worst of the blizzard lasted around 15 minutes and quickly cleared. Soon after, the setting sun cast a warm glow over everything before ducking behind a cloud. Day soon turned to night, the camera's memory card was full and we packed up, dried ourselves off, chucked the heater on in the car and headed home.

Over 1 hour, 40 minutes the camera took just over 1500 photos. I used the images to create a one minute time-lapse video.

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