The gales of October

An early winter storm was predicted to arrive on the north shore late on Thursday, October 26. When I arrived at the Split Rock Lighthouse historic site for a work visit late that morning, the winds were picking up and it was raining off and on.

The view across Lake Superior may appear relatively calm, but whitecaps are forming:

the horizon in the background, water with waves and small whitecaps in the bottom two-thirds

…and starting to crash on the shore:

coastline viewed from above, with a small island in the distance, white lines marking waves reaching shore

I walked down the 171 stairs in the spot of a former tramway to the edge of the lake, where the water was making small splashes on the shore:

Split Rock Lighthouse at the top of the cliff at the top right, mostly woods with a couple thin orange trees, rocky shoreline with wavy water

Watch the Waves at Split Rock Lighthouse video on YouTube

Back up to the lighthouse, and beyond to the northeast side, where sea caves are visible below the lighthouse and create nice, big splashes:

lighthouse viewed from the opposite side at the top of a tall cliff, with a long wave hitting the rockface

Watch the Waves at the Sea Caves video on YouTube

Then I left the historic lighthouse and set off down one of the state park trails. With the light rapidly fading, this is the scene two and a half hours after the first video, farther down the shoreline where perhaps the bigger rocks helped make more dramatic splashes:

the lighthouse farther in the distance, a large flat rocky surface in the foreground, with a curved wave splashing to the left

zoomed-in view of a greenish-blue wave about to hit the shore, lighthouse in the distance

a wave just breaking, a large splash in the middle and extending downward toward the right, with several waves lining up down the shoreline in front of the lighthouse

closeup view to the east with a large wave hitting at the left, another one coming in at the right

Watch the Bigger Waves at Split Rock Lighthouse video on YouTube

I wanted to stay longer and watch as the waves got even bigger, but I needed to head back to the Twin Cities. It was getting too dark to take many more pictures, anyway. I made it out of town before the storm really hit — and caused a lot of damage in Duluth.

first of three images of the same wave, this one breaking with a large splash

second image of the wave, the tallest part now on the right

third image of the wave, mostly dispersed but with many individual droplets hanging in the air

More about this storm

Categories: Lake County | Tags: | 1 Comment

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One thought on “The gales of October

  1. Wow – looks amazing. Great photos

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