That mysterious lake in the Clint Eastwood movie High Plains Drifter

High Plains Drifter is a classic Eastwood movie from the early seventies.  I think I have seen the movie 7 or 8 times.  And every time I watch it I am mesmerized by that beautiful lake.

High Plains Drifter is a 1973 American Western film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood and produced by Robert Daley for The Malpaso Company and Universal Pictures. Eastwood plays a mysterious gunfighter hired by the residents of a corrupt frontier mining town to defend them against a group of criminals.

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The film was shot on location on the shores of Mono Lake, California.

Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in a basin that has no outlet to the ocean. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline.

This desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters, and provides critical nesting habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp.

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Mono Lake

Max. length15 km (9.3 mi)
Max. width21 km (13 mi)
Surface area45,133 acres (182.65 km2)
Average depth17 m (56 ft)
Max. depth48 m (157 ft)
Water volume2,970,000 acre·ft (3.66 km3)
Surface elevation6,383 ft (1,946 m) above sea level
IslandsTwo major: Negit Island and Paoha Island; numerous minor outcroppings (including tufa rock formations). The lake’s water level is notably variable.

Clint riding into the town of Lago, on the shore of Mono Lake.

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In the movie they paint the town red to try and disorient the killers who are on their way.

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The movie set (town of Lago) in the first picture, and the same location with the town gone in the second.

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The most unusual feature of Mono Lake are its dramatic tufa towers emerging from the surface. These rock towers form when underwater springs rich in calcium mix with the waters of the lake, which are rich in carbonates. The resulting reaction forms limestone. Over time the buildup of limestone formed towers, and when the water level of the lake dropped the towers became exposed.

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Mothership Clouds

Mothership cloud is a nickname used by storm chasers for a type of Arcus clouds known as Shelf clouds.

A shelf cloud is a low, horizontal, wedge-shaped arcus cloud. A shelf cloud is attached to the base of the parent cloud, which is usually a thunderstorm cumulonimbus, but could form on any type of convective clouds. Rising cloud motion can often be seen in the leading (outer) part of the shelf cloud, while the underside often appears turbulent and wind-torn. Cool, sinking air from a storm cloud’s downdraft spreads out across the land surface, with the leading edge called a gust front. This outflow cuts under warm air being drawn into the storm’s updraft. As the lower and cooler air lifts the warm moist air, its water condenses, creating a cloud which often rolls with the different winds above and below (wind shear).

People seeing a shelf cloud may believe they have seen a wall cloud. This is likely to be a mistake, since an approaching shelf cloud appears to form a wall made of cloud. Shelf clouds usually appear on the leading edge of a storm, while wall clouds are usually at the rear of the storm.

A sharp, strong gust front will cause the lowest part of the leading edge of a shelf cloud to be ragged and lined with rising fractus clouds. In a severe case there will be vortices along the edge, with twisting masses of scud that may reach to the ground or be accompanied by rising dust. A very low shelf cloud accompanied by these signs is the best indicator that a potentially violent wind squall is approaching. An extreme example of this phenomenon looks almost like a tornado and is known as a gustnado.

Photos Show La Palma Eruption as It Enters a New State

Cumbre Vieja’s eruption stepped up a notch over the weekend. The cone of the volcano erupting on one of the Canary Islands has partially collapsed, Spanish authorities said Saturday, sending rocks as big as three-story buildings tumbling down the hillside.

The Cumbre Vieja eruption on the Spanish island of La Palma started nearly three weeks ago. Lava has already engulfed nearly 1,200 buildings on its way to the Atlantic Ocean and forced thousands of people to evacuate. This explosion marks only the third time La Palma has erupted over the past 100 years: The first was in 1949 and then in 1971. And with the collapse of the cone, lava could continue its march of destruction.

New imagery captured by the European Space Agency shows the multiple trails of lava streaming from the volcano to the sea. Copernicus-2 satellite imagery taken on Sunday shows a new stream of lava caused by the collapse of the cone working its way to the Atlantic, as well as lava that has already reached the ocean from the previous stream.

A volcanic cone is the mound built by past eruptions. Sources at the Canary Islands’ Volcano Risk Prevention Plan told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Sunday that the cone’s collapse has caused a “notable rise” in the amount of lava flowing out of the volcano, as well as a few new lava streams they are monitoring. The collapse also caused the volcano to become more explosive.

Lava flows after the collapse of a part of the cone of the Cumbre Vieja Volcano on October 10, 2021 in La Palma, Spain.Photo: Marcos del Mazo (Getty Images)

“Last night was a hard night,” Pevolca technical director Miguel Ángel Morcuende told El Pais on Sunday. Authorities said that the cone’s collapse was not entirely unexpected, and they expect more of the cone to collapse as the volcano continues to erupt.

A car drives through an empty street in the neighborhood of La Laguna as lava flows from the Cumbre Vieja Volcano on October 9, 2021 in La Palma, Spain.Photo: Marcos del Mazo (Getty Images)
Since the volcano’s initial eruption, authorities have been keeping tabs on the lava flow and how it might impact La Palma’s 83,000 residents. While 6,000 people have been evacuated thus far and the lava has consumed homes, life has continued as usual for many on the island. The flow has largely affected a portion of the western side of the island, with ashfall also spattering areas immediately downwind.

Some of the new flow, authorities said, is tracking near where evacuations have already occurred, and they’ve allowed people whose homes might be in danger back into the exclusion zone to get their belongings. The AP reported that multiple trucks left the evacuated area on Saturday with loads of furniture and other household items.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano, pictured from Tijarafe, spews lava, ash, and smoke, on the Canary Island of La Palma, at night on October 10, 2021.Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP (Getty Images)
The lava on land isn’t the only danger. Cumbre Vieja’s molten rock river reached the sea late last month, 10 days after the eruption started. Hot lava hitting seawater can cause a reaction that emits a deadly mix of steam, toxic gas (including hydrochloric acid), and tiny shards of volcanic glass. This mix is known as “laze”—a portmanteau of “lava” and “haze”—which can cause breathing difficulties and irritate the skin of people who come in contact with it. Communities near where the lava is reaching the sea have been advised to stay inside and keep their windows shut.

The lava flow produced by the Cumbre Vieja volcano falls into the Atlantic Ocean, as seen from Tijarafe, in the Canary Island of La Palma on October 10, 2021.Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP (Getty Images)
The lava is also reshaping La Palma’s coastline as it meets the water and cools off. Experts estimate that the lava has already created 84 acres of new land. And there may still be more to come as the eruption shows no signs of stopping.

“We cannot say that we expect the eruption that began 21 days ago to end anytime soon,’’ said Julio Perez, the regional minister for security on the Canary Islands, told reporters over the weekend.

Meteorite Crashes Into Volcano!

Odd green light spotted at Indonesian volcano was a meteorite

A series of photos of Indonesian volcano Mount Merapi have gone viral after a photographer captured images that look like a laser is erupting from the massive peak, but it’s most likely a meteorite, according to experts. 

Indonesian photographer Gunarto Song took the photos on May 28 that have now garnered more than 28,000 likes. The caption on the photos reads: ‘a meteor fell into the peak of Mount Merapi?’

However, it’s likely that the strange green light stems from two meteor showers, the Eta Aqarid meteor shower and the Arietid meteor shower, that happened during the time, according to National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN).

The beam was captured in a still photograph and confirmed by CCTV monitoring of the volcano by the Kalitengah Kidul Post for a few seconds. 

‘So, from these two data, it can be assumed that the flash of greenish light that appears near Mount Merapi may be related to meteor shower activity,’ LAPAN wrote in a translated version of its website.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower happened between April 19 to May 28, while the Arietids shower started on May 14 and will last through June 24. 

As for the bright greenish hue, that can likely be explained by the level of magnesium in the space rock.

‘Given that the light emitted is green, it is likely that the meteor that feel around Merapi was dominated by the element magnesium,’ LAPAN added.

A piece of an asteroid or comet is also known as a meteoroid. Upon entering Earth’s atmosphere, it turns into a meteor, fireball or shooting star. 

The pieces that reach the ground are known as meteorites.   

Speaking with CNN Indonesia, Gunarto said he set the shutter speed of his camera at four seconds and hoped for the best.

‘Because I use a speed of 4 seconds. Like it or not, the photo [of light] will be long. But the light is round light, hurry up, the round light keeps falling,’ Gunarto told the news outlet.

Mount Merapi on the border of Central Java and the Special Region of Yogyakarta,, is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It last erupted on March 27, 2021, with prior eruptions happening twice in March 2020.

Indonesia sits on the ‘Ring of Fire,’ a tectonic plate in the Pacific Ocean that results in frequent seismic and volcanic activity.   

Spanish volcano eruption intensifies and suspends flights

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Lava spews from a volcano on the Canary island of La Palma.

(CNN) — Eruptions from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma have intensified, as flights are suspended and officials ordered additional evacuations — bringing the total number of evacuees to almost 6,000 people.”According to the records of the volcanic surveillance that has been carried out since the beginning of the eruption, this afternoon the most energetic moment of the eruptive process took place,” according to a statement from the regional Canary Island government on Friday evening.The latest 160 people evacuated were removed from three more towns and would not be allowed to return to their homes to retrieve their belongings because of the “evolution of the volcanic emergency,” officials added.La Palma’s airport was “inoperative” on Saturday, after several flights to and from La Palma were canceled on Friday afternoon, due to “ash accumulation” from the recent volcano activity in the region, Spain’s airport operator AENA tweeted on Saturday.AENA, a state-owned company that manages airports and heliports in Spain, went on to add that “cleaning tasks have started, but the situation may change at any time.””The priority is to guarantee the safety of operations,” AENA added.”The rest of the Canarias airports are operational. However, if you are going to fly, check with your airline about the status of your flight,” AENA concluded.

Vehicles are covered by ash from the volcanic eruption on La Palma.

Vehicles are covered by ash from the volcanic eruption on La Palma.Emilio Morenatti/APBinter, an airline serving the Canary Islands, also confirmed via a tweet on Saturday, that it would not fly in and out of La Palma due to the presence of volcanic ash. The airline, however, has said it had resumed other flights to La Gomera island and to Tenerife island, due to improving conditions.Saturday marks the seventh straight day of volcanic eruptions on La Palma, one of the smallest islands in Spain’s Canary Islands archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez remained on the island Friday morning, where he’s been most of the week since eruptions started last Sunday.Sanchez told reporters on Friday that the Spanish government has approved “immediate financial aid for housing” for displaced people as well as financial aid for those affected to purchase household goods.Angel Victor Torres, president of the Canary Islands, said on Thursday that some 400 homes and buildings had already been destroyed by the lava, according to reports in Spanish media.Spain’s King and Queen on Thursday traveled from Madrid to La Palma and met evacuees as well as emergency personnel.

Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano is a large caldera filled by Taal Lake in the Philippines. Located in the province of Batangas, the volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the country, with 34 recorded historical eruptions, all of which were concentrated on Volcano Island, near the middle of Taal Lake. The caldera was formed by prehistoric eruptions between 140,000 and 5,380 BP.

The volcano is located about 50 kilometers (31 mi) south of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

Taal Volcano has had several violent eruptions in the past, causing deaths on the island and the populated areas surrounding the lake, with an overall death toll of about 6,000. Because of its proximity to populated areas and its eruptive history, the volcano was designated a Decade Volcano, worthy of close study to prevent future natural disasters. All volcanoes in the Philippines are part of the Ring of Fire.

Hurricanes: A guide to the world’s deadliest storms

As hurricane Ida pounds Louisiana and other areas of the southeast some background.

Hurricane Irma, a record Category 5 storm in September 2017

As we enter hurricane season, when there is a greater chance of more powerful storms developing in the Atlantic, here is a guide to how deadly storms form, how they are measured and why they happen where they do.

Hurricanes are the biggest and most violent storms on the planet. Every year, between June and November they hit the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern coast of the United States, sometimes leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

In the Pacific Ocean, they are known as cyclones. In the Indian Ocean and southern Pacific, they are known as typhoons. They are all tropical storms, but they are only called hurricanes in the north Atlantic and north-eastern Pacific.

Names for tropical cyclones in different parts of the world

Where do hurricanes start?

Most hurricanes that form in the Atlantic are the result of an atmospheric phenomenon known as a tropical wave.

The wave starts as a type of atmospheric trough that creates an area of relatively low air pressure – usually in western Africa, in mid-July.

If the conditions are right for it to develop, the low pressure starts to move west, with the help of the trade winds or easterlies.

How the different global winds help form a hurricane

When it reaches the Atlantic, the tropical wave has the potential to become a hurricane – but for this to happen it needs enough energy in the form of heat and wind.

In fact, it needs a deep layer of warm water, with a surface water temperature above 27C.

It also needs the right winds – horizontally swirling winds to concentrate the storm and a weak vertical wind shear rising from the surface of the sea.

If the wind shear changes too much as it rises, it can disrupt the flow of heat and humidity needed to create the hurricane.

The final ingredient is a concentration of rain clouds and high humidity in the area.

Ingredients for a hurricane

This all needs to happen in the right place – generally between 10 and 30 degrees latitude in the northern hemisphere, where the rotation of the Earth helps the winds converge and rise in the area of low pressure.

When a tropical wave encounters all these elements, they all start to interact over an area between 50km (31 miles) and 100km wide.

“The movement of the tropical wave is a trigger for the storm,” says Jorge Zaval Hidalgo, general co-ordinator of Mexico’s National Weather Service.

What does a hurricane look like?

The storm is the catalyst – and the dance of heat, air and water begins.

The area of low pressure cools the humid, warm air rising from the ocean, which fills the clouds.

The condensation of this air releases heat, which lowers the pressure even more, drawing more humidity from the ocean and the storm builds.

The winds converge and rise within the area of low pressure, spinning counter clockwise, giving the hurricane its trademark shape.

Elements of a hurricane

While the storm becomes more powerful, the eye of the hurricane – the central area about 30-60km wide on average – remains relatively calm.

Around it, rises the eye wall of dense clouds and most intense winds.

Beyond that are the spiral bands of cloud, where there is the most rain.

The wind speeds are what determine the moment at which we can call this phenomenon a hurricane.

At its birth, it is a tropical depression. As it gathers strength, it becomes a tropical storm. When speeds reach more than 118km an hour, it is a hurricane.

Different names for storms

How do you compare hurricanes?

However, hurricanes can be classified in five categories depending on the sustained wind speeds. In the Atlantic, the Saffir-Simpson wind scale is used to measure their destructive power.

One hurricane’s winds can produce about half as much energy as the electrical generating capacity of the entire world, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Hurricane categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale

However, it is not the winds that cause the most destruction and loss of life, but the storm surge and flooding caused by the hurricane’s rain.

In the United States, for example, the storm surge caused by tropical cyclones in the Atlantic were responsible for nearly half of hurricane-related deaths between 1963 and 2012, according to the American Meteorological Society.

The level of destruction caused by a hurricane is also going to depend on other circumstances, such as the speed at which it hits, the terrain and local infrastructure in the affected area.

“The damage or danger associated with a tropical cyclone does not necessarily correspond to its category. For example, the highest level storm will not necessarily mean more rain,” Mr Hidalgo told the BBC.

Quarter-Mile-Long Stretch of Bean Field in Minnesota Collapses 25 Feet

A farmer in Minnesota was left scratching his head when a quarter-mile-long swath of his bean field mysteriously collapsed a staggering 25 feet and created an enormous ravine in the process. According to a local media report, the jaw-dropping development occurred on Wayne Erickson’s farm near the community of Climax. “When I drove out here, it looked like the Grand Canyon,” he marveled, noting that he and his wife had never seen anything quite like it in all their years working the land. Reflecting on the “kind of scary” and “sad” collapse of the field, Erllene Erickson thoughtfully mused that “Mother Nature does what she wants.”

As for why such an enormous portion of the field wound up falling upon itself, speculation among experts is that the ravine could have suddenly formed as a result of recent rainfall combined with a drop in the water levels at the nearby Red River. That said, researchers hope to visit the site in the not-too-distant future to study what some are calling a geological wonder. While the fourth-generation farmer and his wife may appreciate the wondrous display of Mother Nature’s power, we’re guessing that he would rather have all those beans back rather than the enormous ravine that is likely to only produce curiosity seekers.

Gotta love the name of that town.

Meet ‘Firebows,’ the Flat, Rainbow-Like Stacks That Appear in Sunny Skies

A circumhorizontal arc is an optical phenomenon that belongs to the family of ice halos formed by the refraction of sunlight or moonlight in plate-shaped ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere, typically in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. In its full form, the arc has the appearance of a large, brightly spectrum-coloured band (red being the topmost colour) running parallel to the horizon, located far below the Sun or Moon. The distance between the arc and the Sun or Moon is twice as far as the common 22-degree halo. Often, when the halo-forming cloud is small or patchy, only fragments of the arc are seen. As with all halos, it can be caused by the Sun as well as (but much more rarely) the Moon.

Other currently accepted names for the circumhorizontal arc are circumhorizon arc or lower symmetric 46° plate arc. The misleading term “firebows” is sometimes used to describe this phenomenon, although it is neither a rainbow, nor related in any way to fire. The term, apparently coined in 2006, may originate in the occasional appearance of the arc as “flames” in the sky, when it occurs in fragmentary cirrus clouds.

The halo is formed by sunlight entering horizontally-oriented, flat, hexagonal ice crystals through a vertical side face and leaving through the near horizontal bottom face (plate thickness does not affect the formation of the halo). In principle, Parry oriented column crystals may also produce the arc, although this is rare. The 90° inclination between the ray entrance and exit faces produce the well-separated spectral colours. The arc has a considerable angular extent and thus, rarely is complete. When only fragments of a cirrus cloud are in the appropriate sky and sun position, they may appear to shine with spectral colours.

How often a circumhorizontal arc is seen, depends on the location and the latitude of the observer. In the United States it is a relatively common halo, seen several times each summer in any one place. In contrast, it is a rare phenomenon in northern Europe for several reasons. Apart from the presence of ice-containing clouds in the right position in the sky, the halo requires that the light source (Sun or Moon) be very high in the sky, at an elevation of 58° or greater. This means that the solar variety of the halo is impossible to see at locations north of 55°N or south of 55°S. A lunar circumhorizon arc might be visible at other latitudes, but is much rarer since it requires a nearly full Moon to produce enough light. At other latitudes the solar circumhorizontal arc is visible, for a greater or lesser time, around the summer solstice. Slots of visibility for different latitudes and locations may be looked up here. For example, in London the sun is only high enough for 140 hours between mid-May and late July, whereas Los Angeles has the sun higher than 58 degrees for 670 hours between late March and late September.