Wind Storm on Georgian Bay

November 04, 2010

GeorgianbaySpray

Photographer: Tom Semadeni
Summary Authors: Tom Semadeni, Andrew Yee, Jim Foster

Voted Best of 2010

The photo above showing the effects of an intense wind storm during the passage of a very deep extratropical cyclone was taken at Red Rock Point Lighthouse in Killarney, Ontario. Red Rock Point marks the eastern entrance to Killarney, which is on the northern shore of Georgian Bay. Under a cloudless, late-October sky, winds were blasting out of the southwest, gusting to 54 mph (87 km/h), and spray from Georgian Bay was drenching the headland. The wind streams are clearly visible in the spray -- over the boulders. Note the white caps in the bay. Walking on the rocks in these strong winds was quite challenging. As the Sun was directly behind us when we snapped this picture, water droplets in the spray formed a delightful double rainbow.

The impressive cyclonic system resulted in some of the lowest minimum atmospheric pressures (28.21 in. or 956 mb) ever recorded for a non-tropical storm over the North American continent. In the past 50 years, only during the blizzard of January 26, 1978 in Ohio were lower pressures recorded. During last week’s huge cyclone severe thunderstorms, some producing killer tornadoes, pounded the U.S. Midwest and snow fell across the North American plains and prairies. Additionally, damaging winds caused numerous flight cancellations across much of Ontario and the central and eastern U.S.

Photo taken at 4:02 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 27, 2010.

Photo details: Panasonic Lumix Micro Four Thirds GF1 camera; Lumix G Vario 14-140 / F4.0-5.8 lens; Focal Length: 14.0mm (29 mm equivalent); Aperture: f/6.3; Exposure Time: 0.0006 s (1/1600); ISO equiv: 400; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto); White Balance: Auto; Color Space: sRGB; Cropped, Resized, Adjusted in Light-room 3.