I am something of a weather junkie, but I’m watching the weather more than usual today.
I always thought Michigan was a good place from which to observe weather with summer-time thunderstorms and lake-affect snows in winter. Having major bodies of water on both sides is great for weather.
But Kansas is better.
Watching the Weather
Since Kansas is pretty much in the geographic center of the continental United States, our weather is affected by the Gulf Coast, the Rocky Mountains, and the north. Things can happen here year round and sometimes they happen fast.
Today, for example, my part of the state is under a severe thunderstorm watch. Severe thunderstorms are rolling through the northern part of the state as I write these words, with a couple of tornado warnings already issued in that area.
So I’m spending almost as much time looking out the window as working.
Monitoring the Weather by Live Stream
I’m also listening to a couple of live streams from storm chasers. Today’s selection is Reed Timmer and Vince Waelti. So far, all I’ve seen via live stream are dramatic skies, rain (which we need badly), and a bit of hail.
Locally, the sun is still shining periodically through gathering clouds. At the moment, our biggest threat is wind. Yes, the wind always blows here in Kansas (another benefit of getting weather from so many directions.) It just usually isn’t more than 5 or 10 miles per hour, what I refer to as a gentle breeze. Today’s anticipated wind gusts are in the 20-mile-per-hour range. That’s still pretty tame.
Rain is also in the forecast. While I’m not especially interested in seeing a tornado at close range, I do want to see rain. With possibly severe thunderstorms in the evening forecast, there will also hopefully be rain.
How Does All This Fit Into My Art?
Some of the weather I watch and photograph ends up in my art. Spring Storm, below, is based on a thunderstorm I photographed many years ago in Michigan. The contrast between dark, brooding clouds and sunlit foreground is the subject of this artwork. I also painted the same scene (though without the barn) in oils.
I’ve drawn snow, too, included Study of Branch with Snow, from which I developed a mini-tutorial for this blog.
The gray light of a rainy day showed up in West of Bazaar, Kansas (below), another colored pencil piece.
For a time in high school, I also doodled tornadoes on the margins of my note book paper.
The Bottom Line
No matter where you live, there are times when watching the weather is important. Today happens to be one of those days for me.
May you be having sunny skies and good weather where you are!
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