Baghdad: Waves of Thunderstorms (IMAGES)

Mar 3, 2004
Mt Prospect, IL
What a stormy night this is, earlier we had a near miss by an intense cell to our north. A few hours later, more storms started rolling through. I was able to get pictures of some lightning, including some 4 second exposures that turned out rather well, even without a tripod. :D

Here's what happened: First, two discrete cells moved through about a half hour apart, the first one had light rain, the second one had a heavy downpour. I caught some lightning with both of these. About 25 minutes later, the entire western sky was on strobe light mode. The lightning was flashing a firey orange and red, and was illuminating what was definitely a shelf cloud. I think the reason for the color was the air quality. As it stretched from north to south, it was definitely linear in nature. It rolled through with a gust of wind and a heavy downpour. Behind the line, there was one more discrete cell. Now, all is quiet, not to say it will stay that way, lol.

I will have images of this event soon.
Here are just some of the images I took tonight. You can find the rest on my Photobucket page

Vidcaps and pics:

First, from the two discrete cells:


This one is a successful 4 second exposure without a tripod, looking straight up...

Now the linear storms, note the shelf cloud:



I think I will eventually get a tripod for my weather photos, but these 4 second exposures made for some good practice for the spring.
Bagdad thunderstorms

I am glad that your long deployment is being made a bit more tolerable by some real convection. I discused trying to get upper air data in Iraq months ago..the best I could do was come up with GFS Forcast soundings using the NOAA's READY web site. Have you had any more luck getting access to met data, or even model output?

Do you get the impression that some of the storms you described may have been surface based, especialy the one with the shelf cloud and outflow?

Good luck and stay safe,

Glenn Rivers
Convection, surface based? I don't know exactly. The max T/Td yesterday was 60/55, that is some pretty moist air for a desert. There was definitely an outflow wind from the linear storms that came through, so it is possible that there was surface based convection. They were probably low topped too.

I haven't been able to find any sounding or model data however.