Lisa Nelson/NWS

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:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A tow truck operator hooks up a damaged bus in 2011 in New York.
    POV

    Should Transit Agencies Panic?

    Many predict that new technology will doom public transportation. They’re wrong.  

  2. Orange traffic cones save parking spaces on a neighborhood street in South Boston.
    Life

    The Psychology of Boston's Snow Parking Wars

    In Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, an informal code allows residents to claim a parking space shoveling it out. But the practice is often at odds both with the law and with the mores of changing neighborhoods.

  3. Equity

    Even the Dead Could Not Stay

    An illustrated history of urban renewal in Roanoke, Virginia.

  4. Transportation

    Could Congestion Pricing Finally Work for New York City?

    A fee-based plan may be the only hope for the city’s costly transportation crisis.

  5. A man works on the roof of a house with a for sale sign next to it.
    Equity

    Does Segregation Beget Segregation?

    Two poverty researchers discuss about the social forces reinforcing the cycle of segregation.