Sunday, October 15, 2017

Utah 2017: Spontaneous Combustion

Gordon Nebeker

'The height of the heat!' Although the burn begins in the ignition phase, it extends to combustion when maximum pressure is reached. In this phase temperature and heat increase beyond the maximum pressure point. The length of combustion depends on the intensity of turbulence, the state of agitation and the degree of chemistry.'

Mike Tossy

'It was a magical trip!'

The magic that Mike references wasn't just created through images, or from Yorgen and Devin's explosive chemistry. A natural combustive occurrence also occurred in the middle of the shoot in the form of a microburst. The unexpected weather phenomenon put a quick halt to posing and shooting and left everyone scrambling for cover. Microbursts are small downdrafts that swirl and move in ways opposite of that of a tornado. Microbursts are found within strong thunderstorms and involve unexpected strong winds and are often accompanied by a downburst of torrential rain.

'The microburst storm was quite fun....NOT!  But it made for a good memory!'


'The microburst storm that we had the second day was probably the most memorable part of the week, but the whole week was pretty memorable. From the spectacular views, having a special connection with Yorgen, and getting to explore some of the hidden coves and canyons of the lake I don't think I'll ever forget that trip.'

Gordon Nebeker

'The weather forecast called for one day of possible showers but they never said anything about a "Micro Burst” which is what we had one afternoon. A Micro Burst turns out to be a mini-tornado/squall/severe wind situation that was strong enough to pull the land anchors out of the ground and leave us bouncing about untethered in the houseboat while the wind did some damage to the upstairs deck and propelled a couple of our plastic chairs up the hill more than a hundred feet.'

'It lasted about an hour and a half and was rather frightening, to tell the truth. The winds threw dust and dirt everywhere. We found out later that someone on another boat lost their life and damage to boats that day was widespread so, in the scheme of things, we were rather lucky. I have renewed respect for Mother Nature’s tantrums!'

'This was a deadly, wild, and thankfully short-lived, weather phenomenon. One afternoon out of nowhere a crazy wind descended. Together with our two models I was up on a slickrock slope high above the lake. Out of nowhere insane winds came up, or rather down. A microburst is a bit like a tornado but instead of the wind pulling things up it is pushing down. When the winds hit the ground or water there is nowhere further to go so they spread out. We were caught exposed (the models particularly, who were naked).'

'Below us on the lake we could see the houseboat, with Mike and Gordon on board, being pulled from its mooring. Furniture from the top deck was sent flying hundreds of feet. Meanwhile the three of us had nowhere to shelter so we took off running for the houseboat as best we could. We were sandblasted and scared witless, but thankfully we all made it. 15 minutes later the worst had passed us by, and an hour later the skies were clearing. We had drug our 4 anchors and the houseboat sustained some heavy damage to the top deck, but we were all fine and both boats were still perfectly serviceable. Others did not fare so well, with many boats sustaining far more damage, including a couple that capsized. The marina didn't ask us a single question when we returned the boat a couple of days later, I think just being happy to see us and the boats back largely in one piece.'

Devin on Instagram & Twitter


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