Encore - Summer Storm Along the Shore

February 20, 2016

EPOD_EncoreSummerstorm long island

Today, and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

Photographer: Jay Morena
Summary Author: Jay Morena; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a summer thunderstorm approaching Cedar Beach on Long Island, New York, just as the Sun was beginning to set. The exquisite red-orange coloring of the sky is a product of the low Sun and optically thick storm clouds. When the Sun is close to the horizon, the path length of light is considerably increased. This lengthening of the path that the sunlight must travel effectively scatters the shorter wavelength colors (greens, blues and violets) from our view. If storm clouds are present, as was the case this early summer’s day, the coloring can be especially dramatic. Multiple scattering of sunlight by the myriad water vapor molecules further attenuates sunlight, but the longer wavelength photons (yellows, oranges, reds) are nonetheless less likely to be scattered than the shorter wavelength photons. Note the shaft of rain in the background at far right. Photo taken on June 22, 2007.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: SONY; Camera Model: CYBERSHOT; Image Date: 2007-06-22 20:21:28 -0400; Focal Length: 9.7mm; Aperture: f/2.0; Exposure Time: 0.033 s (1/30).