The rainy and chilly central European summer of 2011 was caused by a stationary through situation. The upper air stream of the mid latitudes usually moves slowly from west to east by meandering around the globe. This year a blocking situation stopped the movement and the trough was situated just over Europe. Numerous low pressure systems developed within the associated cold and cloudy air of polar origin. The southern border of the trough was most often located in the area of the Southern Alps causing frequently changing weather of moving fronts and weak high pressure ridges. Often orographic foehn clouds appeared in connection with high wind speeds over the mountains as precursors for rainy weather. Cold fronts caused thunderstorms with intense convective rainfall and fresh snow on the high peaks. Such instable weather produces dramatic cloud decks but also high wind speeds that destroy lake reflections. Additionally the moisture causes the 15780 ft (4810 m) high Mt. Blanc massif to hide in convective clouds for most of the time. Some time and effort is needed to photograph the snowy massif at low light conditions including a perfect reflection in the lake.
Canon 5D MkII, Canon L 16-35 mm, f/16, 4 sec, ISO 100, Lee GND, tripod
Where Geoscience Meets Art