Where is the Snow?

Snowmageddon 2009

Snowmageddon 2009

It’s now January 17th, 2012. My car is clean, the roads aren’t stained with salt, the grass is green and I wore a t-shirt outside last week.  Is it really mid-January? The last time we had a  measurable snow was in October 2011 when we received 7″ of heavy wet snow during peak foliage conditions (the 100 year storm) so rare I was so excited for this event. I wonder if I had jinxed myself somehow that day though. I remember saying to myself  “I’m so happy I had the chance to photograph  snow during peak foliage conditions, I don’t care if we do not get anymore snow this year, I’m happy with this rare snowfall.”  (as seen below)

Combining Seasons

Combining Seasons

Well so far, besides two other dustings of snow, we haven’t seen anything. Philadelphia  has no snow this year, Boston has only have a couple inches.. What is going on? The last 2 years we have broken snowfall records time and time again.. Now it seems as the snow has run out. Some factor that play into the lack of snow are this. The jet stream is in a position which allows warmer air to flow up in front of the storm systems that ride along it and all storm are moving to our north and west, we need them to our south and east. Need a Greenland high pressure to help out.

  This Season Average season-to-date Last season-to-date
       
Boston 2.7″ 17.2″ 40.4″
Hartford 14.6″ 15.7″ 45.4″
New York 2.9″ 8.6″ 30.9″
Philadelphia 0.5″ 6.6″ 21.1″

As you can see snowfall is way below average for this time of year. In  previous years I had already found myself in handfull of snowstorms, this year, I struggle to find it anywhere.

December 2010

December 2010

 
Tree of Winter

Tree of Winter

 February Nor’Easter 2010 – Snowmageddon

Snow Camping  January 2010

 
 Snow Camping January 2010. Each winter I watch the forecasts like a Hawk wishing for a monster storm to ride up the coast. If / when it does I will be there waiting for it. I love how snow can transform any landscape urban or rural into something entirely different. Something as simple as a  tree in your backyard can turn into something new and beautiful.
On the Road

On the Road

 White out conditions make for deadly travel during the day and at night. I have documented some of the biggest snowstorms on the east coast and if it wasn’t for reliable equipment it could have been ugly a couple times.
 
Driving through 15" of snow

Driving through 15" of snow

 Being able to get around in snowstorms forced me to sell my old 1999 Chevy  Camaro SS a few years back (still miss her). I needed something that could handle every season and I couldn’t afford to get stuck in two inches of snow again with the SS.
 
Buried

Buried

 With a possible snow for the I-95 corridor this weekend, I will keep by eyes on the weather and hope for a snow. Winter better get it’s act in gear soon or I will have to think about moving to Canada. The jet stream needs to change its route, or we won’t see any major snowstorms this year. So far this winter it has stayed to my north and west, We need it t dip in the central US and ride up the eastern seaboard to get some heavy snowfalls.
 
Super Blizzard 35" of Snow 2010

Super Blizzard 35" of Snow 2010

 
 February Thundersnow
 
Battling the Cold

Battling the Cold

 
Protecting my gear/equipment  is just as important as protecting my well being.
 
Ice Night

Ice Night

 
The track a storm takes will determine where the snow/rain line will be. When warm air overrides colder air you can get sleet and freezing rain. Freezing rain is a nightmare, I can drive in 20″ of snow, I can’t drive in freezing rain.. unless it’s a flat road then maybe.  This particular night we had about one inch of freezing rain which brought down numerous trees and powerlines. It also turned the landscape into an incredible winter wonderland. As shown above.
 
Snow on the Coast

Snow on the Coast

 
Hope you have a winter filled up tons of snow!
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Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2012 – Florida Keys Style

The Quadrantid Meteor Shower of 2012 was incredible! For the second year in a row, I was able to catch this shower under dark skies. This year I was fortunate enough to get flight to the Florida Keys to photograph the first meteor shower of 2012. (Thanks buddy, you know who you are). We flew into Key West on Tuesday morning and scouted out possible locations  to shoot the shower from over a 55 mile stretch of highway. We came up with some solid locations to shoot from and we had plenty of  time to bounce to different spots before the shower really picked up in intensity.

I took this shot in the early morning hours of January 4th, 2012.

Quadrantid Meteor and the Zodiac Lights

You can even see  the “Zodiac Lights” appearing as an illuminated looking triangular shape in the very early hours before sunrise (local time). You would think it was warm there… well,  it was almost freezing out.

Artic Air Plunges South - Accuweather

Artic Air Plunges South - Accuweather

The temp went down to 45 degrees near Big Pine Key, and with the wind chill, it felt like the 30’s. Keep in mind the all time record low for Key West, FL is 41. This was almost record cold for the southern most part in the Continental US.

Key West All Time Record Low is 41. I recorded 45 degrees near Big Pine Key, FL.

Key West All Time Record Low is 41. I recorded 45 degrees near Big Pine Key, FL.

 We decided to leave last minute when we saw the low temperatures where I live would be in the single digits with wind chills below zero. I did that last year and it was tough on the body and mind, not to mention the cold drained my batteries faster than ever and it was hard on the gear. It was nice to have only 4 layers of clothes on instead of 8.

3 Amigos and a Meteor Shower

3 Amigos and a Meteor Shower

I don’t go out for one or two hours during a meteor shower. I go out for the entire night. You greatly increase your chances at seeing more meteors and your chances for capturing one with your camera also increase. I don’t set up multiple cameras simple because being behind the “helm” when you capture one is the best feeling about photographing these showers, it makes the memory and photograph you just created much more personal.

2012 Quadrantid Meteor Shower - Dawn on a Meteor

2012 Quadrantid Meteor Shower - Dawn on a Meteor

This meteor shower was great to me last year and it was even better to me this year. I’m already loking forward to next years Quadrantids, but from where will I see them? Only time will tell. One thig I do know and that 2012 has started off on the right foot. Happy 2012 Everyone! I hope all of your wishes come true.
 
Quadrantid Meteor and the Zodiac Lights - Near Big Pine Key, FL

Quadrantid Meteor and the Zodiac Lights - Near Big Pine Key, FL

The “2012” is not photoshopped in. This is the RAW file.
 

Fine Art Prints can be ordered through my website at  www.jeffberkesphotography.com

UPDATE: 1.8.2012  –   Thanks for all the comments everyone! It’s been overwhelming with the amount of emails and messages I have been receiving. Just want to let you know that I appreciate every single one of them. I will respond to all very soon.  Many Thanks!

Another Winter Storm Headed For Philadelphia Next Week.

 

UPDATE: 1.22.2011

Major Winter Storm Arriving Tuesday or Wednesday!

The track is unknown until we see where the center developes.  This is the situation:

1. If the Low tracks closer to the coast we could see a change over from snow to a mixture of snow, sleet and  freezing rain. Areas inland will see higher snow totals because of that.

2. If the Low is further off the coast. The air will remain cold enough and heavy amounts of snow will fall along the I-95 corridor.  As the storm nears, winds will intensify, creating blizzard  conditions which in result will cause downed trees and powerlines. Snow totals could range  anywhere between 6″inches  and  2 feet!! Keep an eye on my blog for future udpates!

Storm Track 1.

Storm Track 2.

Update:1.19.2011

 Yet another Winter Storm will impact us early next week. This one could have the potential to dump over 12″ of snow, maybe 2 feet! There is also the down side of receiving a wintry mix, or just plain rain. Let’s hope the storm stays off the coast just enough to keep us in the snow and get the big stuff! The track is uncertain as always, but one thing for sure is this storm is going to be a monster!

Here is the latest forecast model for Sunday, January 23rd, 2010. The yellow line is the potential track of the storm for next week. 

Some models have this thing exploding into a monster as it rides up the coast. This is going to be a significant weather event for millions of people. Keep your eye on your local forecast over the weekend. Just like a rain dance, a snow dance is always encouraged!

The January 11-12th, 2011 Blizzard

For the most part this Nor’easter let Philadelphia off the hook. While snowfall totals ranged between 5-8inches around Philly, creating hazardous driving conditions…  the heaviest snow occurred over New England with 2 – 3 feet of snow being recorded in several States including, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH and Maine. I was really hoping for at least 2 feet from this one…The season is young so who knows what old man winter has in store for us for the months to come. Here are some photo from the Blizzard on 1.11-12.2011. Thanks and enjoy!

 

Roads became dangerous to drive on for most vechiles. Still needs to be safe! Don’t take picture’s while you are driving!

Downtown West Chester with heavy snow. January 12th, 2011

Sparks fly up from the plow as it throws 7″ inches of snow to the curb!

 

My favorite thing about snow is it’s ability to tranform any place, urban or scenic into an entirely new landscape. Can’t forget that beautiful scenery! January 12th, 2011.

Over 800 Photos were taken during the blizzard.

Unseasonably Warm Weather Invades the Northeast with Thunderstorms

 
 
 

January Thunderstorm

Dark Storm Clouds over Farm

January 25th, 2010.  

Above:  A  few pictures as the northern edge of the squall line closed in on my position. (2:14pm EST)

  A strong  low pressure system is scooping moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and throwing up north  along the eastern seaboard bringing very heavy rain, strong winds and the possibility of thunderstorms to Southeastern PA .  An Areal flood warning was issued for our area until 8pm EST because copious amounts of rain had fallen overnight and conitues to fall the following morning.  A few isolated thunderstorms formed along the back edge of the leading precipitaion aroudn 12:15pm this afternoon.  I anticipated this squall line to move across my area within the next two hours. With that in mind I packed my gear and hooked up the radar in my car and went out to find a good location to view the approaching storm. The temperature hit 63 degrees today by Saturday we will be struggeling to get out of the 20’s.

Other Severe Storm pictures can be found at   www.jeffberkesphotography.com

New York City Workshop

Communication Towers in NYC

I just had a private workshop in New York City last Saturday with someone I had the pleasure of meeting over the summer. We had a full day walking around the city, taking pictures and discussing camera techniques all while learning to train our eyes to find those ever so important photographic opportunities.  

We met up at the WTC site Saturday January 16th, 2010 at 11am. We went over some tips for creating powerful imagery and then hit the streets with those thoughts  in mind.  Some spots along with way were the Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown, Little Italy, Rockafeller Center, Sunset View from the Top of the Rock. We finished the night in Time Square photographing the people and energy that surround the location.

Here are a few photos I took during the workshop. (More to come)