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Wind Storm on Georgian Bay, Canada

Photo and story by Tom Semadeni

Under a cloudless, late-October sky, winds were blasting out of the southwest, and spray from Georgian Bay, a large inlet at the north-east end of Lake Huron in Canada, was drenching the headland.

The wind streams are clearly visible in the spray — over the boulders. Note the white caps in the bay. Walking on the rocks in these strong winds was quite challenging.

The sun was directly behind us, so water droplets in the spray formed a delightful double rainbow when we snapped this picture at Red Rock Point Lighthouse in Killarney, Ontario. Red Rock Point marks the eastern entrance to Killarney, which is on the northern shore of Georgian Bay.

The wind was caused by an impressive cyclonic system that resulted in some of the lowest minimum atmospheric pressures ever recorded for a non-tropical storm over the North American continent. In the past 50 years, only during the blizzard of January 26, 1978 in Ohio were lower pressures recorded. During this cyclone, severe thunderstorms, some producing killer tornadoes, pounded the U.S. Midwest and snow fell across the North American plains and prairies. Flights were canceled across much of Ontario and the central and eastern U.S.

The photo was taken on October 27, 2010.