All posts by Art Rangno

Some recent clouds

May 24th:

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May 25th, yesterday, starting with sunrise color

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Later yesterday morning, some interesting “Altocumulocirrus”, a rare breed indeed, mocking/mimicking Altocumulus.

Maybe Cirrus floccus would come closest to the true name, but to every eye but that of a genuine cloud maven person, it would be deemed just “Altocumulus”.  Check these out to see how good you were–and NO correcting your cloud diaries!!!!

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5:47 AM. Two layers are visible, a distant Altocumulus castellanus one, and the higher, much higher, cirriform clouds resembling Altocumulus. If you don’t believe me, the sounding from the U of AZ is below.
The TUS balloon sounding for 5 AM AST yesterday. The Altocumulus patches were up around 16,000 feet, and the cirriform clouds around 33,000 feet and at about -50°C
The TUS balloon sounding for 5 AM AST yesterday. The Altocumulus patches were up around 16,000 feet, and the cirriform clouds around 33,000 feet and at about -50°C (-58°F).  Had to cuss that bit because I sensed some doubt out there.
6:38 AM. Same cloud layer. Seriously, how can you not call this "Altocumulus", it mimicks it so well. But these globules are all ice, no liquid water of course anywhere near -50°C unless we believe the reports of Simpson (1963) who purported liquid at -62°C. Nobody believed him though; me ,neither.
6:38 AM. Same cloud layer. Seriously, how can you not call this “Altocumulus”, it mimicks it so well. But these globules are all ice, no liquid water of course anywhere near -50°C unless we believe the reports of Simpson (1963) who purported liquid at -62°C. Nobody believed him though; me ,neither.
7:37 AM. Another view of this cirriform layer making a mockery out of Altocumlus. Note that there is that tiny bit of shading, too, in these cloudlets.
7:37 AM. Another view of this cirriform layer making a mockery out of Altocumlus. Note that there is that tiny bit of shading, too, in these cloudlets.
5:24 PM. The convection leading to cellular structure was still evident pretty much the whole day. Again, we have a problem. Shading like this is not officially permitted with in cirriform clouds except in the "spissatus" species. One would be thinking "Altostratus" here since that cloud is widespread and can have gray shading. When you look at the TUS sounding nearest this time, you find that the moisture is still contained in the upper reaches of the troposphere, where it was in the morning, and that would be in the "etage" for high clouds, 33,000 feet or so above sea level.
5:24 PM. The convection leading to cellular structure was still evident pretty much the whole day. Again, we have a problem. Shading like this is not officially permitted with in cirriform clouds except in the “spissatus” species. One would be thinking “Altostratus” here since that cloud is widespread and can have gray shading. When you look at the TUS sounding nearest this time, you find that the moisture is still contained in the upper reaches of the troposphere, where it was in the morning, and that would be in the “etage” for high clouds, 30,000 feet or so above sea level.
The TUS balloon sounding for 5 PM AST, May 25th. The temperature of that icy layer ranged from about -35°C on the bottom to -60° C at top.
The TUS balloon sounding for 5 PM AST, May 25th. The temperature of that icy layer ranged from about -35°C on the bottom to -60° C at top, so there would not be any liquid water in it even though is might appear in some places.  Where’s my Lear jet?  Need to check these things out and in a hurry!

Now for some prettiness from yesterday evening:

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The End

Your cloud dairy for May 9th

Haha, most readers won’t even notice! But maybe some cow-centric, instead of cloud-centric, folks will drop by, raising the worth of this blog to above $35 if sold….that according to a “biz” site.

Had a rainbow yesterday. Hope you noticed. It was pretty early and overhead west. I think the clouds did not have ice in them. The rain echoes were not showing up on the radar, suggesting the beam went over the tops. Sounding suggested tops might have been as cool as -5°C.    In any case, the drops were able to tip the bucket a couple of more times, and along with yesterday afternoon’s brief, light rain showers our total has climbed to 0.37 inches for the storm. Not bad, though as in money, you always want more.

These storm breakup days are always our prettiest, and that’s often what this site is about, being pretty. Yesterday had some fabulous scenes;  couldn’t stop shuttering cam. It is a real neurotic compulsive behavior pattern, as afflicts some of us cloud and storm-centric folk. Check Mr. Olbinsky’s work; his work goes beyond phenomenal whether you want a wedding photographer or want to see a storm chasing video.  But it takes that kind of eccentric energy to be special, to stand out as he does.

Here, though, we let the storms and cloud scenes, such as they are, hope for the best, and let them come to us….  Kind of a lazy storm chaser’s attitude.

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5:49 AM. I really do think this rain came out of clouds that had no ice…maybe 70% sure.
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6:27 AM. Stratus fractus springing to life as Cumulus clouds lining the sides of Sam Ridge (Samaniego). Showed how much instability, the ease of which the slightly warmer air in these clouds could jut upward yesterday
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6:49 AM. Just pretty and so green after the rain.
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6:50 AM. Same scene, focusing in on a highlight.
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7:01 AM. More prettiness in a highlighted baby turret.
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7:01 AM. In case you missed it, here it is again, a little zoomed.
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9:03 AM. Rise of the Cumulonimbus capillatus incus (has anvil). This scene had a lot of portent for the day. You knew more would be forming, maybe drift over us later.
9:33 AM. I thought this was a pretty neat scene, though its just a cloud shadow lining up with the rise of the Catalina Mountains.
9:33 AM. I thought this was a pretty neat scene, though its just a cloud shadow lining up with the rise of the Catalina Mountains.
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9:36 AM. Hmmmm. What the HECK is happening now? Low center was off in the direction, headed for us, with still cooler air aloft. But where are the Cumulonimbus clouds that should come with it? (They formed rapidly, but later.)
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2:23 PM. By mid-afternoon, things were swell all around, lots of Cumulonimbus clouds. They seemed to fade, though, as they marched toward Catalinaland, as this complex did. The rather sharp line in the lower part of the photo, and beyond which you can see distant clouds, is where the melting level was. This is often appears to be the “cloud base” but its really not in the sense of having cloud droplets. If you were to fly in it, all you would see is rain and melting snow just below this line, and just snowflakes above it. If the whole sky was covered in this, we’d call it Nimbostratus, and say the base was at that melting level.
3:42 PM. Another pretty major band appears to be headed this way. DIdn't make it.
3:42 PM. Another pretty major band appears to be headed this way, rotating around that low center, shifting northward.  Didn’t make it.
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6:35 PM. Somewhat promising that a nice dark line and heavy shafts were out there, thinking they might shift northward again. Nope. Fizzled.

Still cold aloft, so having some nice Cumulus today is in the bag, the early Stratocumulus devolving into Cu, that is.

The End

galaxy-like storm pinwheels toward Catalina; 0.32 inches of RAIN logged so far

At this hour, a small,  pin-wheeling, galaxy-like vortex is drifting toward Catalina.  Last night the town was ravaged by 0.30 inches of rain and winds to 50 mph around 2 AM as one of its pin-wheeling bands came through, likely with a big arcus cloud fronting it.

This was the first measurable rain in Catalina since I don’t know when.  You probably don’t remember, either, its been that long.

More rain is expected as the little pin-wheeling vortex moves overhead of the little village of Catalina today and on to New Mexico tomorrow.

Plunked  below is the Pima County ALERT rain map amounts with the Sutherland Heights amount plunked on it as well.  We did pretty well it appears, compared to surrounding amounts.  Yay.  Our desert will love this!  The greatest amount here is 0.46 inches at Dan Saddle in the CDO upper watershed.  I guess he hasn’t found it yet.

Ann local rain mapn 20170509
As of 4 AM today. If you want an update go here. Also here’s the U of AZ rainlog site. Should be pretty well filled in by 8 AM or so.

Some Clouds

8:46 AM. Nice little cloud streets stream off the Catalinas from the southeast. Buys-Ballots Law says there a low to your right facing upwind, or, to our southwest.
8:46 AM.  This pretty scene shows a nice little cloud streets composed of Cumulus  streaming off the Catalinas from the southeast. Buys-Ballots Law says there a low to your right facing upwind, or, to our southwest.  Looked kind of like a summer scene, didn’t it?  The green tinge continues in the desert and on the mountains, even though it hasn’t rained, its been warmer than normal since I don’t know when.  Pretty remarkable when you think about it.

And if you mention our desert vegetation, as I have,  how can you not exult over the fabulous blooms on one of the most horrible plants on earth (haha), as far as spines and glockets go, the prickly pear!

11:48 AM, though I suppose the time is not needed. So pretty.
11:48 AM, though I suppose the time is not needed. So pretty, our “Arizona Rose.”  Some day, they’ll GMO the spines and glockets away, I’m quite sure…
1:41 PM. By early afternoon there were lots of clouds with ice in them and virga and light rain showers around. Techincally this could be a Cumulonimbus, but its a pretty weak one. The bases were again, as the day before above the freezing level. You can see that in the snow plume virga below, one that disappears at the melting level unless the shaft is very dense.
1:41 PM. By early afternoon there were lots of clouds with ice in them and virga and light rain showers around. Techincally this could be a Cumulonimbus, but its a pretty weak one. The bases were again, as the day before above the freezing level. You can see that in the snow virga below, which disappears as the flakes melt just below the freezing level.
3:14 PM. Here's a nice cross-section showing that in general, the shower clouds weren't especially deep about this time.
3:14 PM. Here’s a nice cross-section looking toward Oracle Ridge down Equestrian Trail Road showing that in general, the shower clouds weren’t especially deep at this time, so the shafts coming out of them weren’t so great, either.
3:54 PM. It wasn't long before further deepening occurred and significant showers rolled across the OV. Mom's gone now, but that her trotter horse wind vane now perched on our fence....
3:54 PM. It wasn’t long before further deepening occurred and significant showers rolled across the OV. Mom’s gone now, but that her trotter horse wind vane now perched on our fence….
6:18 PM. Those showers pretty much missed Catalina, but as the evening approached some breaks in the clouds allowed those gorgeous highlighting of our mountains. Its a form of heaven, I think.
6:18 PM. Those showers pretty much missed Catalina, but as the evening approached some breaks in the clouds allowed those gorgeous highlighting of our mountains. Its a form of heaven, I think.

 

The Weather Way Ahead

Our models, supported by those ensemble “spaghetti” maps are making most of May look pretty darn nice, at least through 20th-25th as the upper air configuration reprises troughs twixt now and then.  They’re looking like dry cool fronts, though, no rain in ’em.   Snowbirds done left too soon!

 

The End

Massive virga pummels air above Catalina; some drops reach ground elsewhere

A Cumulus cloud!  Then traces of ice spewing from them as they deepened and spread over the sky!  Then masses of VIRGA,  snow drifting downward toward the parched desert, which is mostly parched all the time anyway.  What a day, Mr. and Mrs. Catalina!

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12:14 PM. Can this really be happening? A cloud has formed over Ms. Lemmon, or close to her.
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12:14 PM. A closer look to make sure its not an illusion. In a real boo-boo, cloud maven person estimated the base was only 10,000 above Catalina, when in fact, it was probably about 13,000 feet above Catalina at this time, and as bases do on sunny days, rose some more as the afternoon heating carried on, reaching a 100°F here!
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12:14 PM. There even more tiny Cumulus clouds out over the desert to our north! What is going on?
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2:08 PM. How wrong CMP was in his cloud height estimate is becoming clear as ice began to form in great quantities by this time. They had to be much higher than was originally estimated. Its fun saying you were wrong about something because it illustrates humility, and lack of fear about an error, increases your stature with others even if you’re actually upset about it and only pretending to be “happy” and gracious in admitting error.
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3:50 PM. Those Cumulus clouds look pretty dark, but were only about 5,000 feet thick. Notice nice heavy trail of virga in the center. The darkness was likely not the result of so much depth, but the high droplet concentrations. When clouds are full of high droplet concentrations, the droplets are smaller overall, and reflect more sunlight from their tops, making them seem darker on the bottom.   Clouds with larger cloud droplets in them, such as those found over the oceans (away from continents) would be less dark looking with the same cloud depth.
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3:51 PM. Looking toward the southwest at more virga.
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4:07 PM. We really should have a covered grandstand for folks to just sit and watch the sun and shadows highlight our beautiful Catalina Mountains.  Here the Sutherland Trail out of Catalina State Park is highlighted.
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6:43 PM. Some drops appear to be reaching the ground, center, right.

How high up were the bottoms of those Cumulus clouds with all that ice?  Oh, about 17,000 feet above sea level, 14,000 feet above Catalina by mid-to late afternoon.  The base temperatures, as you could tell with all that snow virga hanging down, had to be way below freezing, about -9°C, about 16° F.

Now, with all that ice, can you guess how low the temperatures had to be up around the tops of those clouds?  Remember, if the top is about -12°C in a thin cloud, the droplets are very small because they haven’t been lifted upward much, 1000 to 1500 feet or so, there’s probably not going to be any ice.  The smaller the drops, the harder it is for nature to create an ice crystal.  So guessing that the tops were 1000-1500 feet above the base would be a good starting point, but horribly WRONG for those clouds with a lot of ice!  A cloudwise neighbor,  hearing that estimate, might start laughing, or at least sniggle.

With all that ice up there, and cold based clouds, a good estimate would have been -22.3°C, because adding the decimal would make it appear that you know more than you really do.  Here’s the sounding from the U of AZ for yesterday afternoon when all the ice was in full display, down thataway as well as here:

Ann 2017050600Z_SKEWT_KTUSSo you can see that tops were about -25°C, about right for all the ice we saw come out of those clouds.

As you know, the actual rain from this incoming system doesn’t get here until late tomorrow.  We have to go through a dry slot aloft before the Pacific moisture gets here. The U of AZ Beowulf Cluster output is suggesting that we here in Catalinaland should get at least a tenth of an inch as an upper level vortex goes by (run is not complete as of this writing).  But, because this vortex aloft that’s going to affect us is rather small,  a slight position error could mean much more than that.  It would seem the potential rain amount here might range from a least amount of 0.05 inches to ten times that amount, or 0.50 inches, more uncertainty than usual! Good chance of some thunder with this situation, too, to remind us that the summer rain season is getting closer.

The NOAA spaghetti factory had indicated this situation and the chances of rain on the 8th more than 10 days ago, and that is the power of those crazy maps, to give us some insight farther out in time than we normally can do any reliability.  The scenario of “troughiness” over us continues well into May in those plots, and that should mean temperatures are moderate, not “ovenly” as we like to say here.  Check it out here.

But that  also means very windy at times, too, along with a chance for additional rain.

The End.

Update on astounding Cal water year totals through April

Unbelievable….  Well over 100 inches in the coastal range just north of San Luis Obispo (see arrow below).    And, check those max totals in the table at right, too.

April also produced significant precip in central and northern Cal with almost 20 inches of water at the wettest site.  More will accrue in May, too.

And remember most of all, that no one saw this incredible year coming!  I think that’s why we love weather.

Makes up for the disappointing Big Niño water year of 2015-16, too.

Ann 2016-17 Water Year PCPN through AprilThe End

Oh, and just now, a very exciting sighting on the front door!

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May to have measurable rain in Catalina and environs!

This is great news, heard here first of course (haha),  after a pitiful April with no measurable rain.  Poor desert.

Its been suggested by the NOAA spaghetti factory for some time, but now actual precipitation is showing up in the models pretty regularly for around May 8th and thereafter, and so we can gleefully start dusting off our umbrellas, seeing if we have enough change for the car wash afterwards, etc.

Even WU (Weather Underground) is starting to catch up, showing about a 3% (THREE percent!) chance of rain at that time from last night’s model output.   Its “waymore better” (a nice name for someone) than that, I think, though its not 100% yet.   That percentage should be climbing as the days get closer.

WU chances of rain for Catalina, as posted early this morning. Watch it rise, I hope....
WU chances of rain for Catalina, as posted early this morning. Watch it rise, I hope….

 

BTW, Have never seen such a pronounced “retrogression” as that shown today  over such a vast region of the globe in those spaghetti plots, and that’s why I’ve taken to the air today.

The good news for AZ-ians is that we get placed in a trough in the lower latitudes, albeit a weak one;  a dip in “jetty jet stream” to the south over us  (meaning cooler temperatures than average aloft should prevail) with some enhanced chances for rain after our main chances coming right up on the 8th and beyond for a couple of days.

As you know already, ovenly weather for this time of year,  with temperatures far above average,  is just ahead,  which takes a big, fat high pressure dome aloft over us.  That high will dissipate as “troughy” conditions begin to shape up toward the weekend.

So, venturing farther,  it would seem a reasonable temperature first half of May is ahead, with RAIN,  after the “meltdown” later this week.

Time for a random thought before closing:

A cactus can be a beautiful thing, can’t it?DSC_3390The End

Sprinkly clouds passed over during night; check dusty cars for drop craters and evidence of a trace of rain

Honestly, I gave up on the chance of rain overnight into this morning at sunset yesterday due to the absolutely clear skies.   And, like you, woke up to not one cloud within a 100 miles!  How could this be, given the synoptic situation?  Started slicing apples for some humble pie, but then, when looking at a radar and cloud loop (this one from IPS MeteoStar) saw that lower clouds had magically erupted to our west before midnight,  and by the time they got here in the early morning hours, had little showers coming out of them!

I did not park my own dusty car out from the carport, either. I thought I would at LEAST see a pile of clouds on Ms. Lemmon, too, this morning!  Sure wrong there.  Here are a couple of images from what has to be considered a tiny weather miracle:

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Chances of rain increasing (imagine!), for  just over a week from now as actual model outputs begin reflecting what spaghetti (the many outputs) was indicating, i.e., a big upper trough in the West-Great Basin area.  At the time that spaghetti was indicating that, the actual model outputs were not, indicating that they were outliers.

Check this out from last night.  Since this model output is more in agreement with that crazy spaghetti plot, it inherently has more credibility, and is likely not an outlier model run.   That what the NOAA spaghetti factory is used for, getting a handle on those runs that might be wild, and those that are more likely to verify.

Its valid on the morning of May 8th and shows a trough coming out of the Pacific ahead of the one from the Pac NW, shown at this time over northern Cal.  The hope here would be that the one from the SW would have a generous amount of sub-tropical clouds with rain in them.

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6:04 AM, 28 April. About the only lenticular seen. Oh, well, there were a few weak ones off to the north, but that was it. CIrrostratus is the higher cloud, too thin to be Altostratus.

Cloud shots will be posted later this morning of the next day….. (i didn’t get to is as I had planned)

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12:52 PM, April 28. There can hardly be a better shot of Stratocumulus. While it looks dark, it was partly because of the Cirrostratus or Altostratus overcast; it was that thick, not thick enough to reach temperatures where ice would form in it, and rain would come out.  And no rain did, and soon this whole overcast was gone, as was the higher Cirrostratus that shadowed it.
4:09 PM. No ice came out of these clouds, but they did allow those beautiful sunny highlights on our Catalina Mountains.
4:09 PM. No ice came out of these clouds, but they did allow those beautiful sunny highlights on our Catalina Mountains.
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4:40 PM. Its remarkable how after weeks and weeks of no rain that so much of our mountains and desert vegetation remains as green as it is.

Yesterday afternoon, the 29th.  Here’s what shallow, icy clouds look like, reflecting the unusually cold air above us.

4:44 PM, April 29th.
4:44 PM, April 29th.
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5:43 AM this morning. In an unusually timely post, here’s a leftover ice puff from yesterday over there beyond Charouleau Gap. You’d be guessing, if you cared, that the tops of both of these icy clouds was colder than about -20° C (4°F) since there seems to be so much ice.

 

The End

PS:  Chance of rain still holding for the 8th.  See below for new depiction of big “cutoff” vortex over AZ from last evening’s model run:

Valid at 5 PM, May 8th.
Valid at 5 PM, May 8th.

Sunset was pretty good; raindrops tomorrow morning? In nine days as well?

Haven’t had much to say, brain pretty empty again after the big review of the NAS 2003 review which really needed reviewing and commenting on real bad….

(More “late homework” in the offing.)

———————-

Nice sunset last night; we have had a series of pretty nice ones over the past few days.

April 26th. Sunset over the Charoulou Gap.
April 26th. Sunrise over the Charouleau Gap.
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Orangy mountains highlighted by a gap in the Altostratus layer that allowed the setting sun to shine through.
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7:04 PM. There was some turreting in this line of Altostratus that passed over, and because of those deeper tops, indicating stronger, if still slight updrafts, larger snow particles developed and produced this line of heavier virga underneath it.
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7:10 PM.
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A contrail that’s more than about ten minutes old, now, after the new Int. Cloud Atlas has been released, termed, Cirrus anthrogenitus, maybe castellanus in this case, too.

From IPS MeteoStar, this interesting map for tomorrow morning.

The orangy colors denote the strongest winds in “Jetty Jetstream”, and as you know, the colder, low clouds, ones capable of reaching the temperatures where ice forms, are contained within that ring of strongest winds at this level (500 mb).  So, while the models I have looked at so far have no rain here, I think there’s a pretty good chance of a rogue shower tomorrow morning anyway.  At least there should be some nice Stratocumulus/Cumulus tomorrow and some will have ice in them.   As you know, it’ll be awful windy today, too, maybe 40 mph or so in brief gusts here in The Heights of Sutherland.

Also will be looking for some nice lenticulars since “Jetty” will be right over us, but a little toward the warm side where lenticulars mostly occur.

Map valid for tomorrow morning at 5 AM AST.
Map valid for tomorrow morning at 5 AM AST.

In the meantime, spaghetti suggests a big trough in our area again about nine days from now.  The later ACTUAL model outputs don’t show much of anything.  What’s up with that?  I’m hanging with spaghetti that later model runs will indicate a strong trough, and at LEAST another pulse of cooler air, and another minor chance of rain as we are going to see today and especially tomorrow as when become within the “ring of winds” aloft.  Didn’t Johnny Cash sing something about that? Maybe it was Wall of Voodoo

Below, some spaghetti for you showing a big trough over Arizona and the Great Basin which is not much reflected in the actual models, as noted.  But, just watch my friend, how those model outputs will change to reflect a bigger trough about this time!

Valid at 5 PM May 7th.
Valid at 5 PM May 7th.

 

The End

 

Looking ahead to May, and something about the new Int. Cloud Atlas

April’s been kind of a weather dud here in Catalina so far (no rain so far, and the chance on the 20th, mentioned here some weeks ago, has receded to Utah and points north), so lets take a look at how May is shaping up, only two weeks ahead:

 Valid at 5 PM, May 2nd. Nice!
Valid at 5 PM, May 2nd. Nice!

I thought you’d be pretty happy when you saw this, as I was.

 

BTW, there is a new International Cloud Atlas out there.

Its possible there is a photo from Catalina, Arizona!  I have not checked yet.  Its just been published by the World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations.  Still needs a little work, but overall is VERY, very nice.  Came out out on March 23rd, so we’re a little behind here as usual.  The thing that makes it different from prior and sometimes flawed atlases is that each photo is accompanied by some weather data and in many cases maps, radar or satellite imagery at the time of the photo.

Some new expressions to toss around to your fellow cloud-centric folk are things like “Cirrus anthrogenitus”–Cirrus evolved from contrails and “Cumulus flammogenitus”, a Cumulus formed at the top of a fire, something we used to call, “pyrocumulus”, an unofficial term that somehow seems preferable to “flammo”.

However, something that has drawn great attention over the past 20 years or so was not given a name, aircraft-produced ice in Altocumulus and Cirrocumulus clouds, which have been referred to by Heymsfield and colleagues as “hole punch clouds.”1

Hole punch clouds pdf

Ice canals amid Altocumulus are also fairly common.  Ironically, a hole punch cloud with ice in the center, and an ice canal in an Altocumulus cloud layer can be readily seen on the new International Cloud Atlas submission site, now closed.  They’ve mistakenly, IMO, referred to “ice canal” photos as “distrails” without mentioning the ice canal “cirrus” down the middle.  Formerly, distrails were clearings produced by aircraft in thin clouds without any change of phase in the cloud induced by the aircraft, unlike those holes and clearings produced when the ice-phase is triggered by an aircraft passage.

Certainly a “hole punch” cloud is not a distrail, a linear feature, and should have a separate nomenclature.

In keeping with the new terminology regarding “anthro” effects, maybe it should be, since we’re talking about the Cirrus induced by an aircraft, albeit at much lower levels than true Cirrus clouds:

“CIrrus Altocumuloanthroglaciogenitus.”  (??)

Here’s a classic one of those that erupted over Catalina, posted here last January:

11:27 AM, January 2nd. The ice canal in the middle of an Altocumulus layer that might in the future be termed a Cirrus altocumuloanthroglaciogenitus.
11:27 AM, January 2nd. The ice canal in the middle of an Altocumulus layer that might in the future be termed a Cirrus altocumuloanthroglaciogenitus.

 

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5:53 PM. An example of the various cirriform clouds we’ve been treated to the past week or two, ones that have been giving us those nice sunrises and sunsets. Doesn’t seem like there’s been a cloud below 50,000 feet for about that long, too. (I’m exaggerating just a little.)
7:04 PM. Seems like sunsets are occurring later and later.
7:04 PM. Seems like sunsets are occurring later and later.  Here the setting sun allows some of the “topography” of Cirrus clouds to be accentuated.

 

The End

——————————————-
1It should be pointed out immediately if not sooner  that Catalina’s Cloud Maven Person had plenty of time to rectify, or suggest changes to the Atlas as he could have been part of this process, but didn’t really do anything except submit some images for consideration.

More patterns galore, but with natural holes in them that made for an extra fascinating day!

The TUS balloon sounding launched at around 3:30 PM from the Banner University of Arizona
The Banner NWS TUS balloon sounding launched at around 3:30 PM from the Banner University of Arizona.  The temperature of the Cirrocumulus was indicated to be about -36° C, at about 26,000 feet above Catalina (29,000 feet ASL) and yet portions of the Cc had liquid droplets.  The higher vellums of Cirrostratus or Cirrus were located.

Photos of yesterday’s patterns

I could literally hear the cameras clicking all over Catalina and Oro Valley as these patterns showed up, moving in from the southwest as the increasing numbers of cloud-centric folk lost control of themselves.  Reflecting that general loss of control, which affected yours truly, too many photos will be posted here.  Below holey clouds with icy centers, but not ones caused by aircraft:

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And look closely at the fine patterns, lines and granulations in these shots!  Truly mesmerizing.

DSC_3222 DSC_3221But what’s missing in this photo above?  There was no iridescence seen around the sun where we normally look for it suggesting that those Cirrocumulus clouds nearest the sun were composed of ice crystals, and not tiny droplets.    Iridescence is rarely seen next to the sun due to ice crystals because they are usually the result of the freezing of existing droplets, that then grow rapidly as ice particles to sizes too large to produce diffraction phenomenon  close to the sun.  Where’s my Lear jet,  so’s I can confirm these speculations?!!  I would very much like to have one on “stand by”, in case I think of something.  Below, a wonderful example of no iridescence even though newly formed clouds are by the sun:

4:21 PM. An outstanding example of no iridescence, maybe one of the best ever taken!
4:21 PM. An outstanding example of no iridescence, maybe one of the best ever taken!  The power pole shows signs of being in an archaic neighborhood.

A jet runs through it

Or so I thought.  In this chapter of cloud-maven.com, we inspect the photos of a commercial jet flying at or near the level of these clouds and determine what happened.  I was quite excited to see this happen because we would now determine whether there were any liquid droplets in what to the eye of the amateur cloud watching person would be a liquid droplet Altocumulus clouds.  Here the size of the elements are just a bit too large to lump it into the Cirrocumulus category, if you care.  So, with heart pounding, took this sequence of photos:

4:23 PM. A commercial jet streams into it seems, the Altocumulus layer. Or did it? CMP thought so.
4:23 PM. A commercial jet streams into it seems, the Altocumulus layer. Or did it? CMP thought so.

Let is go zooming:

4:23 PM. Looks to have descended to below this layer. Note sun glint on aircraft.
4:23 PM. Looks to have descended to below this layer. Note sun glint on aircraft.
4:23 PM. Zoomin' some more.
4:23 PM. Zoomin’ some more.
4:26 PM. But, as the location of the aircraft path slipped downwind rapidly, there was NOTHING! I could not believe it! No ice canal with a clearing around it, and no contrail inside these clouds. The clearing would have occurred had the aircraft penetrated supercooled droplets leaving an ice canal. But, if the cloud was all ice, a penetration by an aircraft should have left a contrail, as they do in cirriform clouds. The conclusion? As close to this layer as the aircraft was, it did NOT apparently go into it. Amazing to this eye.
4:26 PM. But, as the location of the aircraft path slipped downwind rapidly, there was NOTHING! I could not believe it! No ice canal with a clearing around it, and no contrail inside these clouds. The clearing would have occurred had the aircraft penetrated supercooled droplets leaving an ice canal. But, if the cloud was all ice, a penetration by an aircraft should have left a contrail, as they do in cirriform clouds. The conclusion? As close to this layer as the aircraft was, it did NOT apparently go into it. Amazing to this eye.
4:25 PM. Looking downwind at those "Altocumulo-cirrus" clouds, all ice from almost the very leading, upwind edge due to that -36°C temperature they were at.
4:25 PM. Looking downwind at those “Altocumulo-cirrus” clouds, all ice from almost the very leading, upwind edge due to that -36°C temperature they were at.  Though overhead, as you saw in the photos below, they might be reckoned as plain Altocumulus, and not solely composed of ice ones.

By the way, if you caught it, there were a couple of standard, aircraft-produced, “hole punch” clouds at the very upwind, formative portion of this patch of clouds before it got here. These photos pretty much prove that the Cc at the formative end at that time was composed of highly supercooled droplets and that the passage of an aircraft produced ice, that caused a fall out hole.

1:52 PM. Hole punches caused by aircraft in the Cirrocumulus to Cirrus patch that moved over us later. Clouds like these do not move at the speed of the wind, about 60mph up there yesterday at this level, but rather, the air moves through it a hump in the airflow that moves much more slowly than the wind.
1:52 PM. Hole punches caused by aircraft in the Cirrocumulus to Cirrus patch that moved over us later. Clouds like these do not move at the speed of the wind, about 60mph up there yesterday at this level, but rather, the air moves through it a hump in the airflow that moves much more slowly than the wind.  Note the slight iridescence in the hole on the right.

 

The End–quite enough, eh?