Storm Before The Calm or Vertical Rivers?

Guest blog by: Keith Walker of Peak Aerials

"Vertical Rivers." Too learn more read blog below.

A couple of interesting weather days in Calgary last Tuesday and Wednesday, to say the least!  On Tuesday evening my wife, Sue, and I decided on a little storm chasing excursion just north of the city, from east of Balzac and west to highway 766.  The storms stayed safely north of us, but we were treated to some spectacular views.  The yellow canola fields glowing in the evening light were the perfect foreground to the ominously dark and powerful storm clouds.  Once the storms started dissipating, we were treated to a smorgasbord of different colours and textures.

Incoming storm clouds, near Balzac 

Incoming storm clouds, near Balzac 

Storm forming, near Balzac

Something is brewing, near Balzac

Wednesday morning, I had a photo flight booked into Calgary from 10:30am to 1:30pm.  The weather was perfect at the High River Airport when we took off, but we could already see large storm clouds gathering to the north.  My pilot and I decided to head into the city and we managed to get all of my sites flown before turning tail to beat the storms just after noon.

Downtown before the storm.

Southeast Calgary before the storm.

These passengers are in for an exciting ride!

Although it was exciting from the air, the drive back from High River to Calgary was when things got really interesting.  Entering the city from the south was like watching a Hollywood blockbuster Armageddon scene in real life.  I exited off Deerfoot at Cranston Boulevard (South Health Campus) and took a few photos, including some of airliners trying to navigate to YYC.

Storm over South Health Campus 

Strange storm cloud over Auburn Bay

Something is happening here, intersection of Hwy 567 and 766

I continued to the SE corner of the Stoney Trail ring road to watch the memorizing sight of rivers flowing up the sides of the storm cell.  For ten minutes, the immense power of the updrafts sucked water off the sloughs and created vertical waterfalls on the outside of the storm cell. I have seen lots of waterfalls, but have never seen them flowing up!

Ten minutes later, everything calmed down and the grand show was over.  That evening, I downloaded my photos and knew that I wanted to create an artwork called “Vertical Rivers”.

The original photo of the vertical river. 

About Peak Aerials

The aerial viewpoint is one that captures the interest and imagination of the viewer.  Peak Aerials, (formerly Peak Experience Imagery), is an aerial photography service company that has completed over 1000 aerial photo missions since 1999.  Their clients are a diverse mix of multi-national corporations, small businesses and government agencies who have found that aerial photos are a valuable business resource for communicating, documenting and promoting with clarity and ease.  While based in Calgary, Peak Aerials has scheduled and custom flights across Canada.   Learn more:Peak Aerials