"Roll Cloud Event"
June 10, 2005
My first photograph of this feature.  I used my fisheye lens so that I could record as much of the cloud as possible.    The view is from 13th street looking west.  At this point it did not appear to be moving that fast towards me.  It still appeared to hug the horizon. (6:25 a.m.) At the intersection of 13th Street and Highway 136 I got my first good view to the West and North and realized that this was something different....maybe not a gust front but a roll cloud or some other accessory cloud.  It was not attached to any parent storm that I could see.   It appeared to extend off over the Northern horizon to the right.  It seemed to go on forever.   I decided to turn left and drive towards it.  This was a mistake. (6:26 a.m.)
I'm now on Highway 136 driving to the west.  This cloud appeared to extend infinitely off into the south as well.  I was becoming concerned because all of my photos so far were taken with a fisheye lens and in a moving truck.  I wanted to get somewhere to take some steady shots. (6:26 a.m.) Passing Hy-Vee I took a shot aimed towards the south.  It was at this point that I realized that the cloud was now moving a little faster than I had realized.  (6:26 a.m.)
This view looking over the BTC Bank.  It was now very close to Albany. (6:27 a.m.)
As I turned right onto Route C heading north I found myself right underneath the cloud as it passed over at a pretty good rate.  I wanted more photos of the roll cloud but the underside did not afford any views like I'd seen so I turned around and got back onto Highway 136 and headed east.  I  hoped that I could get back in front of  it. (6:27 a.m.)

Roll Cloud (n.): A rare, low-level, horizontally oriented cloud that appears as a smooth tube.  This cloud type is associated with a gust front.  Roll clouds are completely detached from the storm base and may be rotating slowly in a horizontal plane. 

Source: Storm Talk by Tim Marshall  (StormTrack)

As I made my way east of Albany a couple of miles I slowly caught up to and got in front of this cloud.  I did not have to go over the speed limit to catch up to it.  I estimate its speed at around 35 to 40 miles per hour heading east. (6:31 a.m.)

The photo above was taken from Highway 136 in a moving truck near Doc Long's place.  It was probably my best picture from that morning.  By this time I had switched from the fisheye lens to my wide angle normal lens.  This view is looking almost due north.  I decided to turn left at Doc Long's and drive north on 600 Road for a few shots.  (6:32 a.m.)

This photo appeared as NASA's  Earth Science Picture of the Day for December 19, 2005.
This photo appeared as NASA's  Astronomy Picture of the Day for January 17, 2006.

Having pulled about a quarter of a mile off of Highway 136 on 600 Road I stopped at the top of  a small hill for a few shots before the cloud moved over me again.  The cloud did not look as tubular from this perspective.   It looked more like a gust front. (6:33 a.m.)

As this feature went over me for the second time I turned to face south and took one shot.  At this time I really took note of the contrast in clouds as the "blue" clouds that followed (at right) contrasted greatly with the clouds in front (at left).  Having been passed over twice by the cloud I got back in the truck and made my way back to Highway 136 to get back in front of it one more time. (6:34 a.m.)

I'm back on Highway 136 heading east towards New Hampton.  I thought that I would try to get back in front of the cloud one more time.  I couldn't keep doing this all day.  This shot is looking north. (6:37 a.m.) I'm almost back in front of the cloud once again.  This shot is also looking to the north. (6:38 a.m.)

Arriving at Buzzard Gulch I held the camera up to the south and took another un-aimed shot while the truck was moving.  You can see how the cloud still extends off into the distance.  I wondered at this point if this could be seen on radar by the people at the National Weather Service.   (That is a reflection of the inside of the truck on glass  in the upper left of the photo.)  (6:41 a.m.)

A view to the north at Buzzard Gulch.   The lighting from the rising sun is not as good as it was previously.  My experience with this cloud is almost over. (6:42 a.m.) One final good shot.  I decided to give up and head back to Albany.  What a morning!   (6:42 a.m.)

Radar Loop of the storm that produced this feature.  Watch the end of the loop and notice the storm complex as it develops in central Nebraska and moves into Northern Missouri by the end of the loop.

Satellite Loop of the storm that produced this feature.  Not sure about the timing on this loop.  This one is a work in progress.

Rainbow at Elam Bend

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