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Icy Sunrise

Kevin Ambrose @ 10:18 AM

The Washington Monument at sunrise reflects off the ice-covered Tidal Basin.

When I left the house this morning to get a sunrise photo it was 9 degrees with perfectly clear skies -- stars were shining brightly. Last night, I had expected today's sunrise mission might be a bust from too much cloud cover associated with the approaching storm system. Quite the opposite proved true, with only very high-level clouds on the horizon. When I arrived at the Tidal Basin, I had the entire area to myself. Normally, during the spring and summer months, the Tidal Basin is bustling with joggers, bikers, and photographers at sunrise. I set up along the water's edge and waited for sunrise. The water was frozen quite solid, broken occasionally by thin fault lines in the ice caused by the rising and falling tides. The ice faults can make quite a bit of noise, creating loud pops and cracks as the water level changes. Today's sunrise proved to be quite bright and yellow. I find that these bright, yellow sunrises/sunsets often happen when we have clear Arctic air over our area, while during the summer we often have darker, red sunrises/sunsets. This has to do with the quantity and types of particles found in the different air masses. Now on with the storm.

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