Most Read: Local

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 01/16/2008

Squall Chasing and a Sun Pillar

I know it's a bad winter for snow when I need to chase a squall to try to get a good snow photo. What made the situation worse is that I could not catch up to the darn squalls, they moved too fast. It kind of reminded me of storm chasing during the summer months, but the snow squalls moved much faster than your garden-variety thunderstorm. As I got close to DC, I was able to take some photos of the squalls moving by the city. At that time, the squalls moved south and east into Maryland and I gave up the chase. I have posted a wide angle view and close up of the squalls.

Later in the day, shortly before sunset, I photographed what I believe is a sun pillar. It was probably caused by ice crystals in the air, produced from the dying snow showers. It is rare to see a sun pillar, especially when the sun is above the horizon. Any other opinions are welcome.

Definition of a sun pillar: A vertical shaft of light extending upward or downward from the sun. Typically seen during sunrise or sunset, sun pillars form when sunlight reflects off the surfaces of falling ice crystals.

By  |  09:00 AM ET, 01/16/2008

Categories:  Photography

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company