Shelf Cloud Timelapse Outside Yosemite

This was a fun one. Coming out of the western sierras into Fresno, I saw tops on cumulous clouds so high that I thought they must be far off over the hills of the coastal mountain range east of San Luis Obispo. I was wrong – as we made our way down into the San Joaquin valley we saw quickly that there was a storm moving east on the other side of Fresno, and another one north of there. A big ol’ one.


The sun was starting to set and the light was just spectacular – god rays and amazing texture in the sky. We pulled off east of Fresno and I set up both cameras while Michele made herself comfortable on the hood of the Jeep. It was warmish where we were, making it just lovely.

Obligatory iPhone shot:


The clouds were amazing and I got some great timelapses and shots in general. Even though we knew we were going to be delayed getting home until way later than we wanted to, it was perfect just sitting there in a warm swirling wind.

I took a timelapse with my iPhone, which only holds up so well to winds. It’s not great but cool if you’re a cloud fan like me.

We found ourselves in a calm center of the storms – rain to the southwest of us and to the north west of us, but warm, gentle wind where we were. After I had packed up the gear back into the Jeep and we pulled away, a funnel cloud touched down in the horizon just before it was completely dark.

This iPhone shot is about five minutes before it touched down just about above where my camera is in the photo. (Just south of Merced.)


Not sure just yet which timelapse series this will go into, I’m going to have to see how it goes in Tuscon during the monsoon next month.

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