Welcome to Andreas' camcorder and VIRB Elite clips. Feel free to download these files. If you are a flight-instructor, I've added a few comments you may find useful.
This page is in reverse-chronological order, so the most recent events are at the top.
Please use a big screen to view my pictures and clips from my VIRB Elite and camcorder. You won't have fun on a small screen or mobile device.
20160426, wind levels, and clouds can actually make steep turns!
This timelapse shows nicely how wind directions change with altitude. That in and of itself is nothing new. You see a wind level higher up, with winds going generally NE, fairly steady. The lower clouds go towards the S, but given that I live on top of a mountain, you can also see how the winds change direction. You can see them coming "towards you", and then they make "steep turns" towards the SE. In the second half of the clip the weather deteriorates a bit, and now the small puffy cumulus clouds turn into light rain clouds, visibility goes down the tube, and the winds are almost entirely headwinds.
20150812, thunderstorm, rainbow
This is another one of the "in and out of a thunderstorm, together with rainbow" type of timelapse. You can also see the shadow from the mountain on which I live creeping in, and then rather sudden darkness.
20150811, thunderstorm, rainbow, wind change
This one I find pretty thrilling. We start out with a thick thunderstorm cloud line with rain trailing behind, as it turns North with a wind change a rainbow appears and we get some rain and low-level fog, and I also like the cloud shadow game and the cloud development in the wake. And in the first few seconds you can see in the top right corner that at higher altitudes the wind direction is already to the North. Near the end you see the shadow from the hill ridge on which I live creep in towards the right (East).
20150715, thunderstorm with virga
This is a time-lapse of a thunderstorm that starts out with virga. Continued flight into IMC is statistically one of the most frequently occurring accident causes.
Normally this happens when the pilot wants to drone on and suffers from
get-home-itis. But occasionally things can wedge you in.
Now, obviously, this is a time-lapse, every pic is taken only every 5s.
So in real life, things move much slower, and if you were wedged between the
two cells, you'd be able to fly out of it. But vis is deteriorating in
all areas, the thunderstorm cells can be much larger (these are small examples!), and when you are in the middle you may not be able to see
clearly which way out is the best, as you can't look behind yourself, for example.
You can also see thrusts of air/moisture up and down, further showing
how turbulent things are in/near a tstorm cell. It underscores the safety recommendation to be at
least 10 - 20 miles away from a thunderstorm, and not only for turb
reasons, but also to avoid getting wedged in.
20150408, several days
With this one I had fun recording light rain and heavy rain, and very strong winds.
20150406, several days
Another partially cloud night, the moon becomes first visible at 0:14. The sun comes up at 3:20. This recording too I turned off due to rain destroying visibility. But near the end, note the different wind layers in opposite directions: the layer immediately above the mountain this time blowing westward, whereas the wind layer some 1000 - 2000 ft. above it blowing eastward. You can see it particularly well during 6:00 through 6:18.
20150404, several days
This is a time-lapse stretching over several days in sheer unlimited visibility. If you have a big monitor with high resolution, you can see Manhattan in the far background. Amazing colors. You can see the tree-tops wiggle occasionally due to the wind. At 2:56 you can see the first night shadow from the mountain on which I live starting to creep in. The moment the sun has disappeared, you see the moon coming up at 4:08. Sunrise starts at 8:08, and as described a few times above, after a cloudless night you have a few thin clouds showing up as the sun comes up. Manhattan becomes visible again (depending on your monitor). By 12:44 you can see the mountain's shadow creep in again, and this also seems to change the wind direction. This night was much more cloudy, the moon is visible for a second at 14:10 and then disappears until 14:25. The sun comes up at 17:42. During the following day you can see long stretches of time during which the clouds dissipate once they are over our mountain, which is a clear indication of orographic lifting. The nigh shadow starts creeping again at 22:09. I turned off the recording when I noticed rain.
Evening of 20150329
Amazing "shadow creep" as the sun sets behind the mountain ridge. If you watch the clip on a big screen (like 24" or more), you can see Manhattan in the far background.
Morning of 20150329
Winds were from the N or NW, thin cloud layers that quickly dissipate behind the mountain ridge. At the beginning of the clip you can see Manhattan "glowing" in the background.
Morning of 20150325
Another one of the type "cloudless sky during the night, and thin clouds come up as the sun comes up".
Morning of 20150323
Pretty much cloudless most of the time. As the sun comes up and it gets warmer, a few clouds from orographic lifting in the "Southern" part. But they don't last, you can see them disappear quickly further downwind/leeward. It was very cold this night, and it got quite warm very quickly as the sun came up.
Morning of 20150322
This is also quite interesting. Not a cloud in the sky during the night. A few clouds in the North (see discussion above for 20150319), and as the sun comes up, none there anymore, but plenty of new clouds from orographic lifting over the "South" side.
Morning of 20150319: Orographic Lifting -- Leeward Clouds
This one was particularly interesting. I file it under "Expect the Unexpected". I just wanted to record the sun-rise over Manhattan, expecting the whole timelapse clip to be unusable junk due to the sun glaring everything over. What I didn't expect was that the mountain on which I live would cause orographic lifting of the air, causing a) the air to become denser on the leeward side (thereby causing condensation -- clouds!), and b) this cloud layer unexpectedly shielding the sun so that the clip actually still becomes usable and not glared over. About half a mile North from where I live the mountain ridge drops sharply (that's why they built Mount Pleasant Road there, which you can see in the clip). Here is the mountain ridge sloping to the South-West, and I've marked in red where I live:
On the left side of the sky (towards the North) you can see totally clear air and no contrails at all. South of a line that is roughly over Mount Pleasant Rd., you can see the cloud layer (with relatively small "ripples") from over my building, as well as contrails. But that doesn't start until the sun comes up -- at the beginning of the timelapse clip, there are no clouds leeward from my mountain at all!
If you are a flight instructor, feel free to use this clip to show to your students, while you review with them:
For more info on orographic lifting and orographic clouds:
- Moist air by itself does not yet cause condensation / visible moisture / clouds / fog / vapor yet. It needs air compression or adiabatic cooling (to its saturation temperature) or condensation nuclei (such as the exhaust from jet engines to form contrails) to become visible.
- Compressing moist air, for example due to wind on the upwind side of a mountain, through orographic lifting, causes condensation as the relative humidity increases -- which then can assume various shapes, for example clouds.
- On the leeward side of the mountain ridge you get a cloud layer (can be thin, like here), and in stronger cases mountain waves, mountain wave turbulence, and in even stronger cases (not here) rotor clouds / lenticular clouds.
Evening of 20150317
Here you can also see Manhattan in the very far distance.
Evening of 20150315
I'm facing East. In the very far background you can see Manhattan around 0:18 - 0:21:
Copyright 2015 Andreas Lauschke, all rights reserved.