Overcast skies this morning gave way to mostly clear skies by noon. As the day went on, some clouds moved through, including a layer of what I think was altostratus clouds seen in these photos. It was not a thick layer of clouds, and they were too bright to look at directly in the neighborhood of the sun even when the sun was blocked out. I was wearing a pair of sunglasses to make it easier on my eyes while I was reading papers outside and I happened to glance up and notice the colored rings around the sun showing in the clouds. I didn’t remember noticing this before, but after doing bit of research I found out that a corona around the sun is one of the most common atmospheric phenomena. Although they are fairly common, they tend to be overlooked because the sun (and sunlit clouds) are too bright to look at. It is easier to observe a corona around a full moon, but since the moon is much less bright than the sun, it is quite unlikely to see multiple rings such as I saw today.
Turning toward Spring
Contrary to forecast, skies over town remained mostly clear through the day. There was a bit of an east wind to make things feel a little cooler, but even so, temperatures warmed up to the low 40s. I was able to find a spot on the south side of a Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) in … Read more
It’s been quite warm (by Sitka standards) over the past few days. Thursday’s high temperature of 75F broke the former record high for the date of 68F, set in 1990. It was slightly cooler on Friday, and the high temperature of 70F recorded at the airport did not come particularly close to breaking the record … Read more
Crescent Bay Ice
Temperatures overnight were below freezing, but not by a lot, so I thought it was interesting to find there was still quite a bit of ice on Crescent Bay even into the afternoon.
With clear weather prevailing in the days prior to and including the winter solstice, it was a good year for observing the sun during the time when the light and warmth we receive from it is a minimum. Many of the things I noticed this year were things I was vaguely aware of before, though … Read more
Daily Observations: Clouds and Birds
Yesterday I did not feel all that great after a relatively poor night of sleep, though I did stop by Swan Lake briefly and get out on a walk to the park with Connor. Today I stopped by Swan Lake this morning after dropping Connor off at school. I also stopped by Centennial Building and … Read more