John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
Locals describe the scene at Mount Hood as “stunning” and “Monet-like.”
A gargantuan funnel of gray pouring from the top of Mount Hood—did Oregon’s iconic peak just blow its top?
Nooope. (Although one day it could, being a volcano that erupted periodically through the 1800s.) What people saw Wednesday was instead a huge, inverted shadow, cast upon a fiery sky by the rising sun.
Locals describe the scene as “stunning” and “Monet-like” on the Facebook page of Portland’s National Weather Service, which shared the above photo taken by Lisa Nelson. Meteorologist Scott Sistek has more great images at KOMO-TV, showing the shadow stretching like a blue stalactite over cold waters or pointing beam-like to the side as if it were a reverse-spotlight.
This is at least the second time in 2016 the mountain has made a floating penumbra over Oregon. Here are similar views from February 3:
Who else caught Mt. Hood's shadow in the clouds before class started this morning? pic.twitter.com/L4yUgFWvHs— Chad (@_ChadRichards_) February 4, 2016