I first noticed the craft as I was driving up Golder Ranch Drive. At first I thought it was just an Altocumulus lenticularis… Really didn’t think that much about it. We seem them over there all the time.
But it was unusually smooth, I thought, and had a slightly humped up portion on the top I could see after I zoomed in on it. Could it be a cloaked alien space vehicle? Time would tell.
A lenticular expands and contracts while hovering over the same spot. This can go on for hours! But, as you will see, over the next 20 minutes, this cloud, or “craft” did not change in any way, clearly evidence of a cloaked space vehicle! Way too smooth to be a real cloud!
Since it didn’t seem to be doing anything, maybe just spying on me and us as do virtually all institutional entities these days, I lost interest in it and continued doing yard work….
Later, completely different looking clouds came over, Altocumulus tending toward castellanus variety…making the early afternoon smooth-looking cloud more anomalous.
PS: It been said that the UFO craze began with an Altocumulus lenticular cloud in the lee of Mt Rainier in the late 1940s. Why not see if we can start a new craze right here in Catalina? Been abducted lately?
I hope you had a chance to venture out late yesterday morning and see some of the most spectacular Cirrus (uncinus) displays with HUGE streamers that you will ever see.
The early Cirrus cloud were nothing very special, not showing clues about what was to happen a few hours later:
But by mid-morning, racing in from the west, these:
There was an interesting contrail distraction later that day. Are these “castellanus” crenelations, or is it perspective? Those knobs are usually pointed downward due to the action of the wingtip vortices that take them downward behind the plane. Maybe they’re just sloped down at us, not puffed up.
Late in the day some Altocumulus advanced from the west, providing a nice sunset, but a layer once again impacted by aircraft holes. Can you find them (with their trails of ice slanting downward?)
Well, there is still a chance of some rain late in the month, late or after the TG holiday weekend….. FIngers crossed. Poor wildflower seeds.
Hope you saw them and recorded them in your cloud and weather diary. I’m thinking that at the next Cloud Maven Junior meeting we should devote a lot of time to this issue. It was a rare day yesterday that the WHOLE day had that phenomenon occurring as aircraft penetrated those clouds, usually on ascent or descent. Sharp descents/ascents produce holes. See the sequence below if you don’t believe me (ppt from a recent talk):
Yesterday’s clouds: lots and lots of aircraft-produced ice
(btw, see note below about pop-up ads in this blog, ones that started to appear after downloading latest WP software)
——————About those nuisance ads—————
Note to me and the two other people that drop by my cloud or “clod” blogulations: The embedded pop-up ads are due to a WP third party plug-in that needs to be repaired. It will likely happen today.
After consultations about ads…
Oddly, those pop-ups and blue highlighting and double underlining do not seem to be present outside of my personal view of my own blog, this according to hoster, “godaddy.” Even using a different browser other than FIrefox does not show them as I have just verified.
A “storm”, one with “rain,” has at last shown up in the numerical prognostics for late on Thanksgiving Weekend. It appears for the first time on last night’s 11 PM AST model run. At that time (11 PM AST) we have less global data to work with when the model crunches out its forecast, and so it is generally thought to be less reliable. But, it has a storm for us….
But, a storm here helps fill dreams of a green desert washed of dust, and stimulates the thought of wildflower seeds springing to life for the spring to come. So, to HECK with opinions on a 11 PM run having less skill! Let us dream of rain and poppies! Here it is below, from IPS Meteostar:
Pretty Cirrus lately, often at multiple levels, as here:
Been busy as a briefly unretired science worker (gave a stressful talk at a university last week) and thought maybe a lot of usual drop ins to this site might not anymore. So, in the title for today, am reaching out to a new demographic: persons interested in congealed soil matter. They might later, after stopping by, discover a new interest; that in clouds, pretty ones. Most of the cheap tricks I try like this don’t have any effect, though. Oh, well.
Let us go forward after backing up:
But the Cirrus kept coming and more odd sights were seen:
Heavier Cirrus, increasing and lowering to Altostratus finished off the day as a heavy shield of middle and upper clouds raced toward southern Arizona from the Pacific:
“Due to time constraints, we move ahead in the action…”
Sunday, November 5th:
4:26 PM. Perhaps the brightest example of iridescence I have ever seen! Just spectacular for a few seconds in this patch of Cirrocumulus. Iridescence is caused by diffraction around the tiny of droplets, less than 10 microns in diameter, as are present when a cloud just forms.
A trace of rain was officially recorded in Catalina at this site ending prospects of a rainless October. It fell from high-based Cumulonimbus clouds in a band, partially lining the NW horizon that could be seen as the sun rose yesterday. Some ants were injured by the falling drops, ones that reached millimeter sizes and fell at 5-8 mph, though in some areas, winds of 10-15 mph added to drop impacts. Flying insects, while obliged to avoid the watery missiles, were able to do so with ease due to the appreciable spacing between the drops of several feet.
Due to the short-lived hydrometeor events, many humans were unaware that rain had fallen in Catalina on more than one occasion yesterday. That’s why we blog here. Weather and cloud news you can rely on.
How high were the bases of those precipitating clouds spewing snow virga that melted to rain? Higher than the freezing level! Haha.. The balloon sounding profile started with the Altocumulus perlucidus layer at 18,000 feet above sea level, 15,000 feet above Catalina, bases at -11°C. By evening the lowest moist level had lowered to 14,000 feet ASL (11,000 feet AGL) and -3°C. However, that last moist level had to be a bit lower than those snowy cloud bases IMO–we know that the moist level almost always lowers.
So cloud maven person will make the definitive call that the rainy (well, sprinkly) cloud bases were at 16,000 ASL (13,000 feet AGL) when they passed over, if that makes any sense or is anything you really care about.
As rain fell……this sky, 12:30 to 1 PM:
Kind of pathetic really; no shafting whatsoever, much less virga than on the horizon yesterday morning. So our end of that band was so weak it was just barely able to get some drops to the ground.
Looks like this is it for rain in October 2017. However, November 2017 appears to look much brighter for substantial, dust-removing rains in Catalina beginning in the first 10 days!
The End (I missed the sunset due to a social engagement–hope you saw it wherever you were). Probably was pretty nice.
Another pretty cloud day ahead. Though most of the Altocumulus clouds are flat, there are some whoppers off to the north now, Ac cas so large they might have to be called Cumulonimbus, certainly large enough to produce radar echoes, maybe a sprinkle at the ground.
Lots of wind tomorrow, as you likely know, but no rain in sight still. So, October almost surely will end as a rainless month. Our average for October is just over an inch of rain!
A warm, rainless October appears to be our fate, much like last year when only 0.01 inches fell. Oh, me. Our dryness since the end of July, with so many cloudless skies, continues on and on. Tough to take if you’re cloud-centric.
However, this month, though likely rainless, promises to deliver some great sunrises and sunsets as weak regions of rising air pass above us in the days ahead, that rising air showing up as lots of middle and upper level clouds like Altocumulus, Altostratus with virga, and CIrrus over many of the remaining days. Those kinds of clouds can be associated with the most spectacular ones sunrises and sunsets.
I guess that’s something.
Below, a sample pretty scene for cloud-starved readers.
Again, pardon the links to ads. I have nothing to do with them. Will make them go away via $$ in the days ahead.
As here, just to reinforce that assertion a bit. Its a link to a recent blog by my cloud-obsessed friend and author, Maria Mudd Ruth. I strongly recommend buying a few of her books. Really, I do!
But in viewing our deep blue skies, pocked with little fluffy Cumulus clouds over the past two or three days, you would not need convincing that even tiny clouds are beguiling, a wonderful attribute for a planet to have. Having mountains on a planet is great, too, and watching the interplay of clouds and their shadows on them is a never ending pleasure. We’re pretty lucky when you think about it to be on a planet like this one. Hope you think so, too.
No rain ahead, glumly, though some sprinkles are out there this morning as frontal cloud band passes over. Just a little too high off the ground for real rain. And the cloud tops aren’t quite cold enough to form much ice, too. Those cloud tops get colder going to the NE, and so higher terrain up thataway (e.g., Show Low) are getting some light rain this morning. Right now, there’s a little sprinkle just beyond Romero Canyon, so we got a little ice this morning in them clouds.
What was interesting is that I never saw no ice yesterday, to continue the slang of rock and roll, in another cheap attempt to reach out to another demographic. The clouds were just a bit too warm for ice-formation, tops running in the -4°C to -5°C range according to yesterday afternoon’s Banner University of Arizona’s balloon sounding. Some may have bulged up to nearly -10°C, but still not quite there. I looked constantly for signs of ice and never saw none, and neither did you, of course.
Bases were cool, at about 4°C, at 11, 000 feet above sea level, or 8,000 feet above Catalina. Tops, about 15,000 feet above sea level. So, they were running around 3,000-4,000 feet thick with no ice. This was a situation where dropping dry ice into those clouds would have created snowfall, then sprinkles, that would not have fallen naturally. Doubtful anything would have reached the ground anywhere near our elevation, however, but up at Ms. Mt. Lemmon, something would have likely even measured from doing that far enough upwind.
In summary, yes, there are some fairly rare times you can get some precip out of clouds by seeding them and yesterday was one of them1.
Today the clouds are thicker, drop sizes therefore larger in those tops of a cloud band similar to the one we had yesterday evening. As drop sizes increase, the temperature at which they freeze also increases. Well, at least that’s what we found over and over again at the U of Washington.
The result, some ice has formed even though they’re hardly colder than just -9°C or -10°C (14°F). Check the radar:
Here are some cloud shots from the past couple of days. Should be some more great scenes today:
Due to time constraints, we now move ahead in the action. Well, its not really “action” is it?
Well, not that much, just a day ahead….
Moving ahead to yesterday and the day long cloud band….