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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Special effects

Yesterday I spent a little time trying to document the large wave event that occurred on 20-21 January 2017.  Below is a selection of photos showing various aspects of the storm.

I find it hard to photograph large waves from shore in a way that reveals their size.  Here's an example that doesn't include anything for scale:

And here's a similar photo that includes one gull (likely a Western Gull):

Knowing an approximate wingspan (58") and length (25") of the gull, we worked through an estimate for the wave height.  As you can see, the gull is at an angle, which made this calculation difficult.  Coming up with a point for the top of the wave was easy, but we had to do our best to decide on a point for the bottom of the wave.  We feel safe saying that this wave was at least 30 feet high, but it could have been higher.  (The NWS forecast had predicted breaking waves of 30-40 feet near the coast.)

As I mentioned last night, the storm waves pushed a lot of foam onto shore.  It created a rather surreal landscape...like liquid snow!

Waves breaking on the beach showed unusual patterns of splashing and sloshing:

This effect was even more dramatic along the rocky shore:

And when I said "a lot" of foam, I meant a lot.  Check out this picture of the foam on top of the bluff (with Eric for scale!).

Okay, the foam was deep, but not quite that deep.  We staged that picture for fun, but in some places the foam was at least 2 feet deep. 

More storm pictures to come during the week! 

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