One of my other hobbies: STORMCHASING!


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Hello there!

Apart from plants, I have a lot of hobbies, interests and inquisitiveness too. I love Science, hiking, go to the montain, running, and, one of my favorites: Meteorology. Especially severe meteorology. Thunderstorms, big waves, squalls, hails, cantabric galerna, etc.

I love especially the front part of the very active storms, when they form big roll clouds and shelf clouds, like a big wall coming furiously to me!

I´m showing you some of my pics of stormes taken here. Mostly self and roll clouds in the front of the thunderstorm, remarking the powerfull gust from of the storm. Heavy showers, big squall and galernas throwing dust to the sea, and big convetive towers, forming giant Cumulus congestus and Cumulonimbus.

All pictures are taken near I live. The Nervion river estuary and the surroundings. It´s not a particularly stormy area, but from time to time we get some nice storms to enjoy.

Let´s go for the pics: (Click to enlarge. Click again over the enlarged image to enlarge it more)

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Edited by The body snatcher pod
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Nice hobby, now you should start chasing tornados ;) outstanding photos, I like especially these of solid-like fronts made of clouds (in the first part of your photos) - these are just amazing :) thanks for sharing!

Thank you! I wold like to chase tornadoes, but they are very rare here. :-( We can have some waterspouts here, but also no frecuently.

I would like to go to Tornado Alley (USA) to see some of those giant american supercell storms, and tornadoes... but it´s quite expensive...

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You are crazy.... you also have my respect. :wink: Out of interest, what are cantabric galerna?

A galerna (I don´t know the word to name it in English language) is an atmospheric phenomenon that hapens in the North coastal zone of Spain. Is hard to explain it in a few words, but its a density air current in atmosphetic low levels, confinded between a high presure zone in the West of the Iberian peninsula, that pushes it to the coast, and the Cantabric range, (this range runs parallel to the coast, West to East,) And a low presure area over the Cantabric Sea, crossing the Sea from West to East,. The phenomenon happens usually in late spring and summer. When the day heating is high, and the low pressure sistemp pumps South wind to the Cantabric Sea during the day. As the low pressure moves towards France, the hight pressure sistem coming behind this low, advects air from the North, cold and dense, in the low strata of the Troposphere. So, it moves to the coast, below the hot and lighter air. However, the Cantabric Range limits its South motion, and air is forced to move quickly to the East, to the low pressure system. Now you have a density wave moving paralell to the cost, over the shore, starting from Galicia or Asturias (West part of the spanish Cantabric coast) and ending at the end of this coast, normally reaching the southwest corner of France. As the air moves from West to East, its speed increase, and can be higer than 120 or 130 km/h sometimes.

The first wind gust is very sharp. Normaly catches a lot of people by surprise, taking sun in the beach. And suddenly, all the sun-umbrellas, towels and sand start to blow up.

It can be a dangerous phenomenon because sometimes a very big galerna can happens, and people can ve wounded or death by flying objetcs, falling objetcs, falling trees (keep in mind that in summer trees have all the folliage and is easier for the wind to blow them down.) Also scaffoldings can be blown down. But normally the phenomenon is more moderate.

You also can have a common galerna, as described, normally onsly big winds, but with no storms, but you can have frontal galerna, complicated with a cold front and you can have severe storms while or a few minutes after the gusts.

Actually, the effects of a galerna are very similar to a big thunderstorm squad line. But is generated in a differentet way.

You can see some pics of galernas in my second reply.

A common galerna:

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And frontal galerna whit a storm.

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Galernas are complicated to forecast, cause is a local phenomenon only affecting the coastal zone and a few kilometres inlands. And usually can be reinforced by local storms formed because of the low pressure and the heat, or can be weaked by fogs, or if the breze from the sea starts to blow before the gust arrives, because breze lowers the temps and reduce the temperature difference between the two air mases.

This is also a galerna, in Barakaldo:

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Later I will post new pics examples to explain it and show you the powerfull winds it can made. I also have some videos I can post later!

Edited by The body snatcher pod
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I just popped "Galerna" in google translate, and it came up with Gale.

In britain, we describe gales as very strong winds. What we experience seems to be a milder version of a Cantabric Galerna.

i have to say, they look very fearsome!

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I just popped "Galerna" in google translate, and it came up with Gale.

In britain, we describe gales as very strong winds. What we experience seems to be a milder version of a Cantabric Galerna.

i have to say, they look very fearsome!

Yeah, but this is the wide meaning of the word. Here, almost all people name "galerna" to every suddent strong Northwest winds, not minding if it is generated for a cold front, a big strom line squad, or simply, big winds pushed by a giant low pressure sistems, like today.

But speaking strictly, for a Meteorologyst, galerna is only the density flux described before, and very spetial conditions are needed. (a large and stright coast, a montanous range near and paralel to that coast, (preferably west-east oriented, for a good interacting with the pressure systems).

I´m uploading some vids in a couple of minutes!

Edited by The body snatcher pod
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I will try to show you the sudden change what a galerna involves. This is another sample. In the following images you can see a simple galerna, nor complicated with storm, neither fronts and anything. Just the galerna alone. (But commonly it cames with others atmospheric penomenon, like storms, like in the last sample.)

You can see the ambient, warm, nice, sea very very flat... It was not very sunny, because we had some medium and hight clouds this day, but very warm and calm.

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But you can see, coming from the west, a "wind line" very neat in the sea, aproaching to my position and reaching me. Inmediately sea becames very brave. No with big waves, ´cause the fetch of the penomenon is limited, but very "splashy". This is the milder galerna type we can have. When they came with storms or weather fronts. they can be stronger.

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I show you a video. The wind seems to see less than actually is until I record the sea. The guy in the roof is a friend of mine, trying to take better pics.

Anyway, this is a very mild galerna, for stronger ones, see the next posts! (First I try to put all videos together, but forum does not allow me)

Edited by The body snatcher pod
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Well, let´s go for some more videos about stronger galernas and similar. I will try to show you what is a galerna. Well, those samples are mild galerna. We only have severe galerna from many years to many years. The first one (three videos) is actually a storm line, and I name those videos like that (turbonada, means more os less a convergence air line, with storms, and squad. Santurtzi is the town where I recorded those videos.), but also can be named as a galerna, cause in that case, had the right characteristic too. And of couse, the effects are the same.

Here are you have the vids. By the way, I was not speaking alone, supposedly I was talking to my girlfriend, but she were running away very far...

Keep in mind that a few minutes before, all was calm, warm and nice. (Except for a giant clouds wall coming from the Northwest... :-) )

Speakers on please!

Part one:

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  • 3 months later...

Hi!

I have some pics for you. Those were taken this weekend, and show the margins of a big hail thunderstorm over Portugalete, Sestao and Barakaldo. I couldn´t manage to catch any ligthing, but I was able to take pics of the self cloud in the front of the storm. Just behind it, you can see hail courtains falling down, and spreading outwards from the storm because of the strentgh of the winds.

Actually we are having a very stormy winter/ begining of sring. With lots of rain, thunderstorms, hail and some snow. Here normaly rains a lot, (about 1600 mm per year.. it´s quite lot of water. Think that London gets 580 mm per year), but this year we have already get our anually amount of water So I guess we will beat ir for large at the end of the year.

Here you have some pics.

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Edited by The body snatcher pod
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Last year we had some severe storms where I live. In fact some houses near the sea, behind the sea wall had windows smashed in and were flooded by waves crashing over the wall. The waves even ripped up the road surface!

A little down the road from where I live a storm cause masses of sea foam, which was quite a spectacular sight: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-19716141

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Very nice. As a child, my cousin and I used to pretend to be storm chasers because we saw that movie called Twister. We were enthralled by the power of the tornado, but we were also just kids so we grew out of it..mostly. Thanks for sharing your pictures, I am also a thunder storm enthusiast.

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