Thursday, September 10, 2009

Florida Keys Day 2, Part 6 | Welcoming party in Key Largo: rainbow, mammatus

This was only my second time witnessing mammatus. The first time is here. The above image features a large puddle in the foreground.

I took the long way to Key Largo, the first city in the Florida Keys. Hoping to eat some seafood for dinner in a backwoods part of Florida City, on the mainland, I had planned to take the Card Sound Bridge over Florida Bay.

When I arrived at Alabama Jack's for some conch at 6:30 p.m. Friday, however, the restaurant had closed. But I paid the $1 toll and took the bridge anyway. When I reached its summit, I saw a huge double rainbow over Key Largo. From that height, I could see beyond into the Atlantic Ocean and below into Florida Bay. Between, there was swampy land with few houses. The air was still. It was beautiful.

Because of a lack of pullover areas with good visibility, though, I didn't have a chance to stop until the rainbow had mostly faded (see photos below). But I did see some mammatus clouds form near the setting sun. They are so named because of their droopy characteristics. Sharp temperature differences in the air under an anvil cloud and wind shear tend to create mammatus.

The mammatus are so fuzzy, making this photo appear to be out of focus. It really isn't.

A rainbow stretches from the Atlantic toward the northern end of Key Largo. This was taken in a rather rural area with houses and condos near the ocean.

I was hoping to go farther, near the water, but the road was a dead end. The secondary bow is faintly visible in this photo.

A close-up of the left side of the rainbow, which was the most colorful portion.

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