Cloudburst in West Texas

January 13, 2012

RainshaftIMG_0149-watermarked-cropped (3)

Photographer: Steven L. Templeton 
Summary Author: Steven L. Templeton; Jim Foster

January 2012 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice The photo above shows a cloudburst I observed just before sunset in Jones County, Texas on September 17, 2011. This rain shaft looked more foreboding than was actually the case and indeed any rain in drought-stricken Texas was welcome. January through July of 2011 was the driest six-month period ever recorded in Texas. Additionally, the summer of 2011 was the hottest on record. Convective storms can sometimes produce very localized rains; a deluge in a particular spot but only a few drops just a few hundred yards away.

Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Focal Length: 28.0mm; Aperture: f/4.0; Exposure Time: 0.033 s (1/30); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh.