John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering 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