Zooming in: wild & mild weather

Images from UCAR’s online photo collection

Extreme or unusual weather often raises questions about the effects of climate change on our atmosphere. For details on phenomena from heat waves to hurricanes and what experts are learning about the possible influence of greenhouse gases on these threats, see Torrents, droughts, and twisters - oh my!

Click on any of the images to get more details and/or download high-resolution versions from the UCAR Digital Image Library. The image library includes more than 2,500 photographs and illustrations, all free for use in research and teaching.

Flames and smoke fill the sky as a wildfire burns out of control

Wildfire rages out of control

A plane drops orange fire retardant on a wildfire

Slurry bomber attacks wildfire

Smoke and flames rise from wildfire in Great Sand Dunes National Park

Wildfire in Great Sand Dunes National Park

Blackened trunks of trees one year after a wildfire

Forest burn area one year after a wildfire

Tornado's funnel cloud touches down in Texas

Tornado strikes Texas Panhandle

Dust-filled funnel cloud

High Plains tornado gathering dust

Funnel cloud of tornado with wildflowers in foreground

One of eleven tornadoes spawned from the same supercell thunderstorm

Grain elevator damaged by tornado

Grain elevator damaged by tornado

A woman stands in the midst of her destoyed home

A home destroyed by a tornado

Pedestrian makes his way down a wet, snowy street

Pedestrian copes with wet, snowy city street

Cars negotiate snowy roads in the midst of a blizzard

Blizzard slows traffic

Small car completely buried in snow

Car buried in more than two feet of snow

Heavy rain blurs view of house and trees in North Carolina

Driving rain along the Outer Banks

Two pedestrians with umbrellas walk along a city street

Umbrella time in the city

Cracked and dried stream bed in Colorado

Dry stream bed in a time of drought

Windmill and house in a drought-stricken area of Texas

Windmill in northern Texas

Tallgrass struggling in a sandy field

Tallgrass struggles to survive a dry spell

Dead and dying pine trees around a lake

Pine bark beetles ravage mountain forests

Silos and people in a boat surrounded by flood waters

Silos reflected in Midwestern flood waters

A stop sign and other highway sighs sticking above flood waters

Stop the flooding!

Aerial view of flooded neighborhood with sandbags protecting houses

Sandbagged houses hold flood waters at bay

A water vapor band image of Hurricane Katrina at landfall

Hurricane Katrina at landfall

Infrared band image of Hurricane Katrina at or near peak intensity

Hurricane Katrina at or near peak intensity

Houses damaged by hurrican lean toward the ocean

Beach houses damaged by Hurricane Dennis, 1999

Statue of buffalo stands in flooded street

Summertime street flooding in Custer, South Dakota

Streets are closed because of flooding from a severe thunderstorm

Flash flood closes streets in Custer, South Dakota