Most stunning weather photos and videos of 2012

Most stunning weather photos and videos of 2012
Lightning strikes over Mt. Rainier on July 8, 2012. (Photo ©James Clark Photography)

From the Northern Lights, to supercell thunderstorms, to a baseball diamond tarp that transformed into a raging monster set to devour a member of a minor league team's grounds crew, Mother Nature has been quite busy in 2012.

I've gone back and compiled some of what I think are the most stunning photos and videos that I've featured in the weather blog over the past year.

While the photo gallery (at left) and the videos below showcase events that spanned the globe, a good number of what's featured happened in the Pacific Northwest.

Which one was your favorite?

Best Weather Videos of 2012:

It all started as an innocent day having fun in the snow. It almost ended with someone getting a few extra bumps and bruises:



Ever wanted to see a tornado as big as the Earth? It happened on the sun:



Snow-covered streets of Seattle didn't stop this interpid worker from getting to the office:



To say it rained a little bit on March 15 in Pioneer Square was to say it was a little noisy at the Seahawks-49ers game in late December:



One video here in memory of Dr. Dale Ireland who used to man a web camera from his Silverdale home -- and use Ichiro as his trusty snow gauge. This was one day where it snowed in the morning, then melted before sunset.



Northern Lights in all their beauty

There were several videos highlighting the Northern Lights that really caught my attention. The first is from Ole Salomosen of Tromso, Norway:



And this is from Brad Goldpaint of GoldPaint Photography in Oregon:



Even closer to home, here is a stunning video of the Northern Lights from up in the mountains:



The Northern Lights also made several appearances around the Puget Sound area. This next video was taken from Hansville by SkunkBayWeather.com



Big Storms, Big Shows

Next, on to some stormy weather. Here is a wall cloud that formed during thunderstorms on the Eastside in July:



Moving up the severity ladder a bit, here are some gorgeous lightning strikes caught from Mukilteo:



And here is from Hansville again:



Here is one that a little too close to "home" -- literally -- during a Texas Rangers game:



Tornadoes made some very public appearances in 2012. Check out this tornado that touched down during a Kansas wedding!



In New Jersey, one dropped by a high school graduation:



This video shot in Kentucky by WKYT-TV shows the amazing power of a tornado. Watch as a tornado goes down the street of a home -- one minute, the home has a view of trees across the street; the next, they can see the horizon as the trees get destroyed:



In Italy, it wasn't a tornado but a waterspout that captured some attention -- perhaps one of the more awe-inspiring videos of a funnel you'll see:

Topping off the severe weather, this was perhaps not as damaging as a lightning strike or a tornado, but ranking right up on there on the freak-you-out scale, it's "TARPNAMI!"



But if you never thought something could be worse than a Tarpnami, this Virginia weather forecaster has his eye on something a bit more imposing on the Mid-Atlantic States:



Have a happy 2013!