August 04, 2014

An Amazing 360 Degree Sunset

Saturday evening the air was full a developing cumulus and the eastern horizon was dominated by the cirrus blowing off from thunderstorms over the mountains and eastern Washington.  So it was the perfect time to head to a local hill to view the sunset...and I was not disappointed.

The mid-level convection took on a red glow with beautiful definition of the rising turrets.  As with the other cumulus clouds that day, the base of the clouds was not at the surface, but several thousand feet aloft.

As the sky darkened, I noted something else that made my jaw drop...the shadows of the clouds were being projected on the cirrus over the eastern horizon.  And as the sun lowered, the shadows loomed larger and larger.

And that was not all, beams of sunlight traversed the sky from the sunset to the shadows (see below).  If you were religious it was like a symbol of divine presence.  One person commented to me that it looked like the hand of god with an outstretched finger.  Such metaphysical matters are beyond my competence

It was quite a show and there was a whole group of us on the top of the hill at Magnuson Park watching the spectacular 360 degree display.

And as the sky darkened, shallow mid-level convection become more apparent, with the red glow of the thunderstorm cirrus behind.  We were all profoundly impressed.

Why watch noisy planes when nature is putting on such a show?

This summer will be remembered for many things here is Seattle, but rarely have there been so many amazingly colorful sunsets.  

2014, the Summer of Sunsets.  

You will tell your grandchildren about it one day.


  1. Why watch noisy planes at all? Maybe if we stop paying attention to them they'll go away.

  2. That stunning sunset was also visible from the East side. The photographs that I made do not do justice to the magnificence of the visage. The sheer depth of field, the sharp delineation of those sunbeams - it was an amazing sight.

  3. Awesome photos Cliff and thank you.

  4. Lest we forget, Saturday morning was equally spectacular, with big cumulus clouds, isolated thunder and lightning as well as rain squalls. All that was followed by a beautiful summer day.

  5. this was absolutely the best sunset I've ever seen and I've seen a few! Crepuscular rays streaming upwards are usually seen at sunrise and I have quite a few shots of those but these at sunset were amazing! This display was so big, my 18mm range wasn't wide enough for it from my vantage on the mid-roof area of Via6 downtown! See my shot of it here:

  6. Truly a memorable sunset - proud of your work Cliff.

  7. Since moving to Seattle, I have been blown away by the beauty of the sky here, the clouds or the mist etc. I might do an oil painting of one of these if you don't mind?!


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