June 12, 2013

Rainier's Shadow

Mount Rainier is perhaps the most famous landmark in our state...and it can cast the most amazing shadows.  This morning with a relatively uniform cloud deck that topped out around 6500 ft, the mountain's shadow was quite evident. For example, the 5:30 AM visible satellite image clearly showed Rainier's shadow and that of Mt. Adam.

And during the next hour or so, it quickly shortened.

And, of course, if there is a higher level cloud deck the shadow can appear on the bottom side of the clouds, as illustrated by the next two pictures.

Chuck Graham captured the upper photo from nearby Roy, Wash.

If aliens arrived at our planet, there is no doubt this mountain would be their first stop.  This conjecture is supported by the fact that the first flying saucer was observed over Mt. Rainer in 1947 by pilot Kenneth Arnold.

 Something to ponder....


  1. Many years ago I was kayak camping on the east side of Clark Island north of Orcas, and woke just before sunrise to see the shadow of Mt. Baker cast onto the underside of the cloud deck. It sticks with me to this day as one of the most amazing sunrises of my life.

    Thanks for the reminder, Cliff!

  2. Another interesting sight to see is when Mt. Rainier has split the cloud layer and there is a path of sky leading right to the mountain. On occasion I've seen swirling eddies in the edges of the clouds as if the mountain is creating drag in the flow of the clouds moving past it.

  3. Gotta love living in the Pacific Northwest.

  4. Those are some amazing photos of Rainier's shadow on the underside of the cloud deck!

  5. I am afraid you might have to address the dreaded "derecho" that's being predicted by major news networks!

  6. Great shots...speaking of topo related events just had pea-size hail fall on us as a cumulus cloud passed over our home on Mount Constitution...guess its not quite summer....


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