May 13, 2024


I’ve always been fascinated by clouds. I remember taking photos of clouds back in the days of film and an Instamatic and when getting the photos back from processing my mother asking, “Why did you take so many photos of clouds?”

“I like them”.

She wrote on the back, “John’s pretty clouds. July 1981” (or whatever the date was). The photos are probably still in a scrapbook back east.

I wasn’t really engaged in my high school freshman Earth Science class. But that was over 40 years ago and I’ve grown a lot since then. As I ramp up to my storm chasing trip next week I’ve been reviewing various videos the like about storm clouds, specifically Shelf and Wall Clouds.

Here’s one of the videos I’ve watched as part of my studies and preparedness for the trip. As a private pilot I just know to stay away from these clouds in a small airplane. As a storm chaser, I’m looking for the ones that are going to produce the best photographic results. Hat tip to Raychel at for this great explanation.