Funnel Cloud Over Monterey?

It started out as an unremarkable walk at Soberanes. Just a bit warmer than usual …

But what’s this? A big dark cloud blowing in off the ocean – and making some very ominous rumblings …

Soon lightning was striking off shore (I wasn’t lucky enough to get any in the picture – and it’s kind of hard to do long exposures on a bright day) …

The storm grew more intense. Now lightning was striking in the Ventana Wilderness behind us as well as in the ocean in front of us …

As the storm passed over the Monterey Peninsula a very strange looking feature appeared …

We’re guessing it was just an area of very concentrated rain or hail …

But it was certainly an unusual sight. And with lightning crackling around it every 10 or 20 seconds and the clouds above growing darker and darker, we were definitely glad to be out of its way.

June 24 Update:

Rich, in Santa Cruz, photographed the same cloud from the other side (from West Cliff Dr. to be exact) and was nice enough to send it to us:

11 Responses to Funnel Cloud Over Monterey?

  1. Devo says:

    it rained pretty good in Monterey… i was drenched, riding the bike, but it dried right off. it was like a vacation. Definitely not like a typical Monterey day.

    cool pics…


  2. Kris Swanson says:

    Just listening to NPR news- brief mention of the lightening fires breaking out all over CA…
    great visuals, thanks K. Straight out of An Inconvenient Truth. Welcome to our future.

  3. Bill Brock says:

    Arresting photos. Was there similar electrical activity over the Peninsula?
    Also: Remember the thunder/lightning show at Custer Battlefield in Montana after our Missouri Breaks trip? By sheer luck, I got a picture of a bolt of lightning that day.

    — Bill

  4. Heidi Haussermann says:

    Great photos. Funnel cloud? Water spout? What an unusual thing to see in this area. We were in Kauai where the tropical weather was less dramatic than the weather in Monterey! John’s bro, Eric, said it got up to 98 on Linda Vista, Saturday.

  5. Dawn says:

    Fanastic photos. I was sitting at my desk and saw lightning bolts come down over the bay… but being at the top of the hill on Sobranes is a much better view. Great ride today…. Dawn

  6. Blll Farrington says:

    Ahh, to be with your camera at the perfect time. I was in Arroyo Seco at the Indians fire backfire line, near the helitack port, when we were told to get in our vehicles. All the air attack and hand crews were under a giant black cloud that stopped operations. We were down there for a mandatory large animal evacuation, only to be told we had to go home because there was a lighting strike near Ventana Ranch, (Nason Ranch). A very crazy first day of summer………

  7. Seth says:

    Lightning almost every day here in Costa Rica too. Nice and cool, plenty of rain, no fires, no funnel clouds.

  8. Seth says:

    But lest I paint too rosy a picture, there is also plenty of poverty contrasted with obscene wealth, pollution, crime, and traffic jams.

  9. John Radford says:

    It’s simply normal but very limited rain or probably “virga” which is rain that doesn’t quite hit the ground. Not a funnel cloud.

  10. Rich says:

    I observed and photographed the same phenomena from West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz on Saturday. Please send me an email address and I will send you the photos. From the Santa Cruz perspective, lighting was shooting right down the middle of the “spout” … every 3 minutes or so for the half hour I watched this thing.

  11. Kat says:

    I was on my balcony in Carmel and watched the funnel cloud come in. It was just South of us and looked to be in line with Pt. Lobos. The water under the funnel was a really strange pattern. We got the binoculars and watched the lightning. Facinating. Straight down! None of us have EVER seen anything quite this strange.
    It rained briefly and left abruptly.

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