Category Archives: Cumulonimbus clouds

Raindrops fall on Catalina ending rainless October

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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.

Yesterday’s clouds

6:42 AM. Altocumulus perlucidus at -11°C (12°F). No ice evident.
6:43 AM. High-based Cumulonimbus erupts to the distant NW. Altocumulus castellanus layer from which it erupted can also be seen. The snow falling from cloud base is also evident, melting to rain just above the horizon.
6:54 AM. By this time the full band to the NW whose tail was to pass over us about mid-day is evident. Plenty of snow can be seen falling from these modest, high-based Cumulonimbus clouds.

 

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.

Summer thunderstorms continue to say goodbye in spite of suggestions that they had already said, “goodbye”

Oh, well.  When you’re sloppy and asleep at the wheel, think you know more that you really do, that’s what happens, “weather surprises” that shouldn’t be.

But, what a gorgeous day again!  Really, with the smoky skies gone I am so appreciating a blue sky pocked with Cumulus and Cumulonimbus clouds!

Lettuce reprise yesterday in all its unexpected glory:

8:56 AM. Shallow Stratus-like cap cloud tops the Catalinas, a sign that the lower level moisture is still abundant. But is there anything topside of these clouds? I didn't think so.
8:56 AM. Shallow Stratocumulus-like cap cloud tops the Catalinas, a sign that the lower level moisture is still abundant. But is there anything topside of these clouds? I didn’t think so.  Too dry for anything deep was the flawed thinking.  I really admire people like myself that admit error.
10:46 AM. The early Cumulus sprouts. No problems here, so pretty, too.
10:46 AM. The early Cumulus sprouts. No problems here, so pretty, too.  You can see how the wind increased with height by looking at this crosssection of the clouds and how they lean to the right in their upper portions.
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11:55 AM, an hour later. What’s that to the SW, upwind, and in the distance?   Huh.
11:55 AM, an hour later,zoomed view. No doubt about it, all Cumulus hell is breaking loose.
11:55 AM, an hour later,zoomed view. No doubt about it, all Cumulus hell is breaking loose.  That cloud is going to reach the ice-forming level.  This is incredible considering what was thought about the day this very morning.  I’m happy that it looks like its going to rain somewhere, but sad for myself that I did not see this happening because I was lackadaisical. There is no happiness that exceeds having rain in a desert and you predicted it!
11:56 AM. Cu just sitting around just looking pretty over there to the NW.
11:56 AM. Cu just sitting around just looking pretty over there to the NW.  BTW, this house will be for sale soon with its million dollar view;  yours for half-price, $500,000 if you call today!  (CMP used to live here. so it has some extra caché.)  haha
12:08 PM. Look at the ice in that turret! "Unbelievable", having indicated the clouds were going to be too shallow for ice development.
12:08 PM. Look at the ice in that turret! “Unbelievable”, having indicated the clouds were going to be too shallow for ice development.
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12:14 PM. Rain shaft develops… Maybe its a one-shot wonder. Pretty, though, as EVERYTHING was yesterday. Too seductive for my camera!

 

12:23 PM. I am beside myself, in conniptions looking at this jolt; looks nuclear, to reflect a newsy theme of the day.
12:23 PM. I am beside myself, in conniptions looking at this jolt; looks nuclear, to reflect a newsy theme of the day.  And now we have some serious shafts, too.
12:43 PM. Thunder and the whole bit, a major shaft roll across the desert NW of Saddlebrook and Catalina. Wow.
12:43 PM. Thunder and the whole bit, a major shaft roll across the desert NW of Saddlebrook and Catalina. Wow.  What a day this turning out to be!
1:02 PM. Almost ideal shot of a Cumulus congestus all by itself there. Catalina Mountains really didn't participate much, no rain shafts developed withing sight.
1:02 PM. Almost ideal shot of a Cumulus congestus all by itself there. Catalina Mountains really didn’t participate much, no rain shafts developed withing sight.
3:38 PM. The major cells had "left the building" and for a time looking upwind, there was an impression that it was all over, the subsiding, dry air was now mashing down cloud tops to where no more ice could form. That was not to be the case!
3:38 PM. The major cells had “left the building” and for a time looking upwind, there was an impression that it was all over, the subsiding, dry air was now mashing down cloud tops to where no more ice could form. That was not to be the case!
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3:48 PM. Some nice shadows around, not that the action is over…  Was it?  Nope.
3:50 PM. A distance rain shaft! Unbelievable! The day is still giving after it looked like all that subsidence was coming in! (I was pretty excited here, as I am sure you were, too.)
3:50 PM. A distance rain shaft! Unbelievable! The day is still giving after it looked like all that subsidence was coming in! (I was pretty excited here, as I am sure you were, too.)
4:08 PM. More astounding by the minute, considering how late it was in the day, for this big boy to erupt.
4:08 PM. More astounding by the minute, considering how late it was in the day, for this big boy to erupt.  Will it hit Catalina?  Will is last long enough to do that?
4:16 PM. Taller yet, though some of this straight up look is actually due to the top of this Cumulonimbus calvus leaning over us.
4:16 PM. Taller yet, though some of this straight up look is actually due to the top of this Cumulonimbus calvus (verging on the hairy looking, “capillatus” version_  leaning over us.  That’s partly why the rainshaft has thinned from the prior photo.  Unless another turret shoots up, it may be all over.  Some thunder rumbled out of this cloud, too.  Well, it moved rapidly toward the NE from here, missing most of Catalina, the bottom evaporating up leaving only an icy debris cloud during the next half hour.  No photos.  I was driving somewhere….which prevents taking photos as has been mentioned here on numerplus occasions.  (Hah!  “numerplus”, a typo that might become a new word!)
4:29 PM. This beauty beyond the Charouleau Gap. Can you tell that the top knob has converted to ice?
4:29 PM. This beauty beyond the Charouleau Gap. Can you tell that the top knob has converted to ice?  I hope so.
6:01 PM. Pretty scenes aren't always just in the sky, but in the lighting of stuff, to be poetic. And, with a rain gauge in it, can it be any better as a scene?
6:01 PM. Pretty scenes aren’t always just in the sky, but in the lighting of stuff, to be poetic. And, with a rain gauge in it, can it be any better as a scene?

Since I was clueless yesterday, will remain quiet about today’s weather, though we do have low level moisture around as clouds are again topping the Cat Mountains.

We’ll still get into some early winter like weather in only a week–that’s pretty much in the bag.  Probably no rain, though, just a bit of a very windy day or two and very cold air for the time of year plopping over us.  Our TEEVEE weather folks are surely all over this!

The End.

 

Ice-forming cloud street peppers Sutherland Heights with large raindrops, 5:11 to 5:22 PM; trace of rain recorded!

It was quite a surprise to this observer who claims to be a “cloud maven”, but whose credentials must be questioned, even if I do say so myself.  Was thinking plain old small to moderate Cu, hold the ice.

But in a long cloud street, appearing to emanate from Kitt Peak, some ice started to show up in the cloud row upwind of us.  Wonder if you saw it?  The first ice happened around 3:45 PM, followed by a couple drops at 3:59 PM.    Well, as Rob Reiner might say, enough of my yammering, lets get on with the cloudumentary:

Yesterday’s clouds, lot of ’em

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12:00 Noon. Small Cumulus clouds have arisen all over, its breezy, and some Cumulonimbus clouds can be seen on the distant horizon, on is there on the right. SO NICE to see our usual deep blue skies back!
12:00 PM or is it AM? Noon, anyway. Cumulonimbus calvus launches northeast of the town of Oracle.
12:00 PM or is it AM? Noon, anyway. Cumulonimbus calvus launches northeast of the town of Oracle.  Can you tell that this fatter cloud is all or mostly all ice in its upper portion?

 

12:01 PM. There's a little cloud street coming off Pusch Ridge and heading toward Catalina. Later the wind direction changes and the cloud streets come from the southwest rather than south as here.
12:01 PM. There’s a little cloud street coming off Pusch Ridge and heading toward Catalina. Later the wind direction changes and the cloud streets come from the southwest rather than south as here.
12:36 PM. Not much has changed. Maybe its because its only been 35 minutes since the last photo....
12:36 PM. Not much has changed. Maybe its because its only been 35 minutes since the last photo….
2:38 PM. Still not much going on. No ice or anything, Cbs way over there to the north. Might as well take a nap than be conscious through this slack period. Nice shadow though... Wonder what's causing it?
2:38 PM. Still not much going on. No ice or anything, Cbs way over there to the north. Might as well take a nap than be conscious through this slack period. Nice shadow though… Wonder what’s causing it?
2:38 PM. Hah! A cloud street is right over ME!!! Looks like its coming from as far away as Kitt Peak!
2:38 PM. Hah! A cloud street is right over ME!!! Looks like its coming from as far away as Kitt Peak!  Cloud streets are pretty harmless, don’t really do anything except cause shading over favored areas.  They recur over the same sites over and over again when the moisture and wind are right.  Notice, too, that the wind has shifted in direction some 45 degrees or so since the cloud street that formed over Pusch Ridge around noon.
3:28 PM. That old cloud street off'n Kitt Peak is still chugging along, passing right over Catalina/Sutherland Heights. Can't really expect anything to happen though in the way of "weather." Just a harmless cloud street...
3:28 PM. That old cloud street off’n Kitt Peak is still chugging along, passing right over Catalina/Sutherland Heights. Can’t really expect anything to happen though in the way of “weather.” Just a harmless cloud street…
3:35 PM. Cumulus clouds are fattening up, though. Maybe theyre getting some extra calories, solar ones! Wow, where did that come from?!
3:35 PM. Cumulus clouds are fattening up, though. Maybe they’re getting some extra calories, solar ones! Wow, where did that come from?!
3:36 PM. Even some ice starting to form in these little guys! Wow, did not expect that!
3:36 PM. Even some ice starting to form in these little guys! Wow, did not expect that! (That little whitish veil, center right.  That means precip is coming out, snowflakes melting on the way down.  But, coming out the side of the cloud like that means its almost impossible for them to survive the fall to the ground.
3:56 PM. Cloud street still intact. But, OMGosh, one has ice in it! Can you see it, that frizzy stuff, center? And, its going to pass right over!
3:56 PM. Cloud street still intact. But, OMGosh, one has ice in it! Can you see it, that frizzy stuff, center?  And, its going to pass right over! (A few drops fell for just seconds at 3:59 PM!)  Amazing, did NOT see this coming!
Approximate locations of Catalina and Kitt Peak OBSY on a 4 PM 1-lm resolution visible satellilte image from the University of Washington Huskies Weather Dept.
Approximate locations of Catalina and Kitt Peak OBSY on a 4 PM 1-lm resolution visible satellilte image from the University of Washington Huskies Weather Dept.  Image used without permission.  That little white, broken streak is our cloud street that passed overhead, some cloud developing into congestus sizes, and spewing ice.
4:51 PM. Cloud street still intact. Windy, too. Maybe that fatter cloud, center, will develop some ice..... Its gonna pass right over, too.
4:51 PM. Cloud street still intact. Windy, too. Maybe that fatter cloud, center, will develop some ice….. Its gonna pass right over, too.
5:09 PM. Abandoned station to get supplies, and on the way back on Golder Ranch Drive, this nice scene of the shadowed Catalinas. Not taken while driving, of course, That would be wrong!
5:09 PM. Abandoned station to get supplies, and on the way back on Golder Ranch Drive, this nice scene of the shadowed Catalinas. Not taken while driving, of course, That would be crazy!  As a photographer you live for these kinds of moments.
5:14 PM. Cloud street still intact! Large drops falling from cloud overhead; would be from melted graupel/soft hail up there!
5:14 PM. Cloud street still intact! Large drops falling from cloud overhead; would be from melted graupel/soft hail up there!
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5:14 PM. Looking straight up at all that ice up there. Amazing since it wasn’t expected.
5:26 PM. Since we were on the threshold where the ice was just forming up there, more rain fell out just downwind of us. If you look closely you'll see there's a rainbow to prove that I am not lying about rain falling over there.
5:26 PM. Since we were on the threshold where the ice was just forming up there, more rain fell out just downwind of us. If you look closely you’ll see there’s a rainbow to prove that I am not lying about more rain falling downwind from us.  Might even have measured!
5:47 PM. Our cloud street is releasing from its origin point and the tail end will now pass over, No more drops, as the cloud elements became shallower under a fading sun.
5:47 PM. Our cloud street is releasing from its origin point and the tail end will now pass over, No more drops, as the cloud elements became shallower under a fading sun.
6:31 PM. The remaining small Cumulus clouds made for some golden color at sunset. Very nice.
6:31 PM. The remaining small Cumulus clouds made for some golden color at sunset. Very nice.

Enough lower level moisture for Cumulus again today, but even smaller ones than yesterday.  Since the wind is already noticeable now at 6:26 AM, better mention that we could have noticeable winds again today.  (Much windier yesterday than anticipated by CMP; wind was not on my radar if wind could be seen by radar (well, of course it can when they are raindrops or bugs. Hah!)

Big intrusion of unusually cold air still coming into the West in about a week.  Some of that will reach right here in Catalina really giving the sense that its truly football season.

The End.

Last of the Cumulonimbus

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10:56 AM. Things looked promising except clouds like this over the Catalinas moved away from us. And no Cumulonimbus clouds formed over them, but rather downwind toward and beyond the town of Oracle late in the afternoon.
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3:30 PM. Not much going on; a very thin veil of ice was dropping out of these clouds, once the tops of the Cumulus cloud to the right and out of view. Hope you caught it. There weren’t very many ice displays until later.
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5:31 PM. That blasted haze/smoke layer is still evident! at the center is a glaciating turret, giving hope this whole cloud cluster could erupt into something. The model from the overnight run suggested just such an event!
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6:09 PM. Hah! A shower at last! And the movement is in the general direction of Catalina!
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6:36 PM. Stupendous sunset view, and this cluster is getting closer!
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6:42 PM. Zoomed view near last light. Portions of this complex consisting of a weak thunderstorm  did pass over, but no shafts, just a few drops for a “trace” of rain.  By this time bases had risen to about 14,000 feet above sea level, or about 11,000 above Catalina and near the freezing level, so a lot of evaporation on the way down for those poor droppies.

Last call for Cumulus clouds today, maybe a distant Cumulonimbus top off to the north.  Then one of those long clear and dry spells of fall gets underway….

 

The End

Goodbye summer storms; new book out about clouds!

First, I will shamelessly plug a book on clouds, “A Sideways Look at Clouds”,  by a well-published and acclaimed author friend, Maria Mudd Ruth.   Its about her odyssey into them,  mentally and physically,  after she realized they were something she really had not paid much attention to before mid-life,  then she had to know EVERYTHING about them!  Its a great read, infused here and there with humorous anecdotes.

You can sample the contents here.

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Now, on to Catalina’s  clouds and weather…

6:43 PM yesterday.
6:43 PM yesterday.  If you look hard you can see there wasn’t much of a rain shaft with these guys.  Bases were too high, updrafts pretty weak, so not a lot of water “topside” to come out.

Not that there have been that many rainstorms since the end of July.

But it would seem that today marks the meteorological end of the summer rain season as dry westerly winds sweep our remaining tropical air to the east today.  The mods think there is a chance for a couple of high-based thunderstorms in the area around Catalina late in the day.  But bases will be so high that not a lot of rain will reach the ground even if one passes right over us.  And, they’ll be moving in from the SW or W today due to encroaching westerlies.

In a little over a week, too, you’ll be hearing about early snow in the Rockies and West!  We’ll have a day or two of those gusty, dry southwest winds that accompany our winter storms as well.  You’ll get a real feel for the season change then.

Check out this plot from the NOAA spaghetti factory showing (blue lines) that an unusually strong upper trough will absolutely dominate the West in just over a week

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Valid on Thursday, September 21st at 5 PM AST. As this develops it draws a tropical storm northeastward out of the Mexican Pacific into New Mexico. Lucky for them!
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1:48 PM, September 11. Nice to see those blue skies again after so many smoky days! Here Cumulus humilis, Cumulus fractus (shred clouds) dot the sky.
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4:56 PM, September 11. The remaining smoke is still enough to produce crepuscular rays below Stratocumulus and Cumulus (blob on the right).
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6:30 PM. Orangey sunset speaks to remaining smoke. The clouds are a Stratocumulus with Cu underneath on the right.
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4:46 PM yesterday. The drama of lighting and shadows is about the only drama we might see now for a LONG time! Still these kinds of scenes are so wonderful; never get tired of them, which is strange.
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4:57 PM. Even yesterday, amid all the blue, you could still see a lofted layer of haze, typically thickest near cloud base and within cloud layers where the relative humidity is highest and some of the haze particles have “deliquesced”, adsorbed water, fatten up and scatter the light more effectively helping to produce that hazy look in toward the sun (called, “forward scattering.”)  Can you see the slender icy top protruding down there in Mexico.  We’ll go zooming next so you can see it.  Good for you if you entered it in your cloud diary!
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4:57 PM. Zoomed view of that little protrusion of ice. Only a few drops would come out something like that as it developed. Here its pretty much in its dead phase, likely no base under this ice cloud. The horse icon wind vane is that of a trotter racing horse. Mom was a horse trainer and this is hers!  In case you don’t believe me again, see below:
Mom in 1957 or so.
Mom in 1957 or so.  She passed a year ago in July.
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4:58 PM yesterday. More shadow drama.  Expect more of this later today.

 

The End

 

Nice sunset again yesterday; local tortoise crosses road unharmed

Giant homework assignments (i.e., controversial cloud seeding manuscripts for journals) seem to go on and on, and so can’t really talk clouds and stuff so much, with all the usual obligations of living (e.g.,  like vacuuming, washing windows, pulling some weeds,  but not too many for habitat saving purposes,  removing a pernicious, spreading hybrid cactus with microscopic glockets,  akin to growing your own asbestos, and preparing a home we used to live in here in Catalinaland for sale). Perhaps you’d like to make a HUGE offer on it…  That would be great!  Thanks in advance for making a HUGE offer!  Its where I started blogging, so there is that bit of historicity.  haha

From yesterday evening, these:

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6:52 PM.

.

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7:01 PM. Dissipating Cumulonimbus sheds its final raindrops.
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7:01 PM. Just pretty Cumulus bases.
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7:01 PM. Zooming on the scene.

Seems like another dry day today, though with “Cumulonims” here and there.  Rain chances pick up as we close out the month.  Way behind average for August;  now at only 1.10 inches here in The Heights of Sutherland.   Average is 3.36 inches, our wettest month.

In neighborhood news….

Below, the saga of the tortoise.  I parked and waited for him/her to get across Equestrian Trail Road.  There was a small rise in the road from where he was and someone in a hurry would have smashed him flat.  This is who I am and why I write controversial papers about cloud seeding.  Some do gooder has to do it, even though in the latter case you become a persona non grata in your specialty, your work isn’t cited when it should be by “scientists” who know about it, etc. Back to torti….

Wonder if anyone out there saw that “The Desert Speaks” program on PBS two nights ago where there was a herpotologist that spent many nights patrolling roads to get critters off the road so that they don’t get squashed.  What a guy;  a hero really!  I think I could do that if I wasn’t so cloud-centric.

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8:47 AM.
8:47 AM.

The End

 

The End.

Post includes rainbow photos for popularity’s sake; 0.14 inches of rain (what other “inches” of something would it be?) dampens Sutherland Heights

Nothing much else here of too much interest except the usual cloud blabber… haha

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7:00 PM.
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7:04 PM. Hope you saw these!
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5:50 AM. Moon dodging clouds, Altocumulus ones.  Moon dodgers?  Did you know that the University of Washington sport’s teams were once known as the “Sun Dodgers”?  How funny izzat?  It’s truly amazing to me what you learn here.
2:47 PM. Icy tops move toward the Catalina Mountains.
2:47 PM. Icy tops move toward the Catalina Mountains.
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3:54 PM. Not much going on over the Catalinas. But, can you spot the first ice from these clouds? You’d have to be pretty darn good to do that.
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3:54 PM. Zooming…. There it is! Have to look hard for the arrow and the bit of ice haze below that flat section. This would be a great ob day for an aircraft, since it would mark the threshold of temperature where ice is  starting to form. Deeper, colder clouds from this threshold level would have more ice, a lot more.  This level can vary from day to day, depending mostly on the sizes of droplets in clouds.  With bases near freezing yesterday, this level would likely have been at the -12° to -15°C level, up around 20,000 feet above sea level.  Bases were around 14,500 feet above sea level.
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5:23 PM. Nice lighting. I like lighting and lightning, no so much lightening, since a storm could be ending then, or if its around dawn, its OK.  You can see two eyes, squinting….
5:43 PM. Nice base streaming from Pusch Ridge enlarges as it came almost overhead! Looks promising for a SPKL. Moving car out from carport so's I don't miss a few drops.
5:43 PM. Nice base streaming from Pusch Ridge enlarges as it came almost overhead! Looks promising for a SPKL. Moving car out from carport so’s I don’t miss a few drops.
5:54 PM. Fine strands of rain now becoming visible!
5:54 PM. Fine strands of rain now becoming visible!
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6:19 PM. Strands of rain in full display in RW-. Its measuring, not just a few drops! Need to roll up windows in car!
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7:13 PM. Not much happened just a little west of Catalina. Nice sunset, too.

Looks like another day for a chance of rain late….

The End

Powering up

Not much going on lately, so will dip into the archives from two days ago.  One cloud in particular was so spectacular in its defiance of gravity, rocketing upward the morning of the 4th.  So here are shots from that day…

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6:46 AM, Aug. 4: The day began with a pretty normal looking patch of Altocumulus perlucidus (honey-comb pattern). No virga, so its likely not too cold. The sounding suggests it was up at 16,000 feet ASL, or 13 kft above Catalina at about 0°C (32 F).

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10:05 AM. Thar she blows! Just a spectacular jut from over the Mogollon Rim area, and a telling sign of what was immediately ahead for us.
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10:53 AM. Was doing yard work, under some trees, and then came out to see this amazing sight (Cumulus congestus erectus). Ran for camera, you have just seconds to a minute or two before it begins to fall apart due to entrainment of dry air that makes a cloud look ragged and frayed. Will it form ice? Is it cold enough up top?  Should show up in a couple of minutes if it is going to.
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11:00 AM. Ice formation well underway as you can see by the frizzy, fibrous texture above the halfway mark up this cloud. At the time it seemed like it might be a big day for TSTMs with this kind of vertical rocket cloud shot so early. But, no.  I would term this cloud, a Cumulonimbus calvus or capillatus, even though there is no visible rainshaft yet.
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11:00 AM. Going zooming…you can see that virtually this whole top is glaciated, and that fingerling, top left, shows some fallout of ice, likely aggregates of ice crystals. When concentrations are high, as would be the case in this glaciated turret, the crystals often lock together to form snowflakes. In cloud microstructure and modeling terminology, the stuff falling out would be termed , “precipitation ice”,  and most of that in the  fingerling, “cloud ice.”  I hope you’re happy now.
11:05 AM. An icy being seems to be leaping out of the new Cumulus congestus clouds that sprang forth so rapidly. That icy "being" is all that's left of the original turret.
11:05 AM. An icy being seems to be leaping out of the new Cumulus congestus clouds that sprang forth so rapidly. That icy “being” is all that’s left of the original turret.
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11:09 AM. Kind of in the area of “beings” now. Those new Cumulus cloud sprouted up rapidly to fill the void left by our first cloud. But here it appear to take on the shape of a being waving, “Hey, look at my icy left hand!”
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11:52 AM. Thought this frizziness, texture of the ice made me think they might be “warm crystals”, that is ones that form at temperatures higher than -10°C, which would be needles and sheaths…. I sure wish I had a Learjet, get up there in a hurry, find out for sure…. The afternoon sounding supports that speculation with tops likely limited to those higher temperatures, but not the morning one
12:49 PM. One Cumulonimbus calvus stage here, was potent enough to produce a bit of thunder, maybe the last we'll hear for many days.
12:49 PM. One Cumulonimbus calvus stage here, was potent enough to produce a bit of thunder, maybe the last we’ll hear for many days.
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1:00 PM. Looking to the west, you could see the drier air moving in as evidenced by the lack of any buildups for as far as you could see, and also in the pitiful clouds over the Tortolita Mountains. It was a hard time, knowing the end was at hand.  And there it is, below:

The End

‘Nuf said

Now, that’s pretty funny.  We specialize here in too much said! Its a niche thing.  Of course, not enough can be said about our past July. Take a look:

2016-17 WY progress repor thru July

This, of course, was a new July rainfall record for Catalina/Sutherland Heights going back to 1977, anyway.  Had to adjust vertical axis of this chart, too.  Formerly, it stopped at only FOUR inches!  The moon lore was right!  It’s interesting how the ancient lore of early peoples that I made up a month ago was more accurate than the Climate Prediction Center’s prediction of an equal chance of above or below normal rain in southern Arizona while something incredible was on the doorstep!  Kind of like last winter in the whole West where record amounts of snow and rain piled up over a huge region, and that, too, was also unforeseen “going in.” Think how horrible it would be if those predictions were always right.  Sure, billions could be saved by such accurate outlooks, but then the element of surprise would be gone.  How bad would that be?

After the paucity of rain in the preceding five months, and with June carrying into around July 10th this year with its blazing heat and no clouds, all that rain that followed with thunderations day after day,  the attendant rain-cooled  “breezes” to 50 mph on occasions, blowing stuff all around everywhere, were sure welcomed (?).  (Another case of innovative punctuation to emphasize a point, whatever it is.)

Let us begin today by examining the greenth of the 2017 summer on our Catalina Mountains so far, thanks to July’s copious rains.  Hah! The climate really has changed.  Looking into growing bananas now…DSC_6621 DSC_6542 DSC_6534 DSC_6510Now for some cloud photos from yesterday:

9:40 AM. Like most of our summer days, it begins with mid-level layers of Altocumulus, in this case shown here, "translucidus" variety (rather thin, it is.) It was up around 13,000 feet above the ground, if you care.
9:40 AM. Like most of our summer days, it begins with mid-level layers of Altocumulus, in this case shown here, “translucidus” variety (rather thin, it is.)  It was up around 13,000 feet above the ground, if you care.
11:07 AM. As the Altocumulus clouds thinned, burned off, the rise of the Cumulus begins, here a gigantic one spurts upward telling you that there are going to be some blasters yesterday. Very exciting to see this. I can feel your heartbeat as you, too saw it.
11:07 AM. As the Altocumulus clouds thinned, burned off, the rise of the Cumulus begins, here a gigantic one spurts upward telling you that there are going to be some blasters yesterday. Very exciting to see this. I can feel your heartbeat as you, too saw it.
11:51 AM. Wasn't long before giant Cumulonimbus clouds were dumping over there on the town of Oracle. Nice town it is, btw. However, these clouds weren't much electrified, telling you that the updrafts weren't particularly strong yet, even though tops here were probably pushing around 30 kft.
11:51 AM. Wasn’t long before giant Cumulonimbus clouds were dumping over there on the town of Oracle. Nice town it is, btw. However, these clouds weren’t much electrified, telling you that the updrafts weren’t particularly strong yet, even though tops here were probably pushing around 30 kft.
11:52 AM. Cumulus congestus, and Cumulonimbus calvus start unloading over there toward I don't know where exactly.
11:52 AM. Cumulus congestus, and Cumulonimbus calvus start unloading over there toward I don’t know where exactly, but its just on the other side of the Tortolita Mountains.  You’ve probably noticed how clear the sky has been, completely free of haze.  That’s good for rain production, since the cleaner conditions are the larger the drops can be in the clouds because there are fewer of them compared to clouds forming on hazy days. Nat King Cole sang about summer haze as early as 1963, so we know that haze is not a new thing, like CO2 is.  You won’t find people singing about CO2 in ’63!
11:58 AM. The three amigos.... A slight rainshower can be seen in the slight haze in front of the mountains below the center Cumulus. Tops leaned way out again due to weak updrafts, and since rain forms in the upper portions, it fell away from the mountains in these weaker Cumulus.
11:58 AM. The three amigos…. A slight rain shower can be seen in the slight haze in front of the mountains below the center Cumulus. Tops of these spindily Cu  leaned way out again due to weak updrafts and and stronger winds aloft from the S.  Since rain forms in the upper portions, it fell a little away from the mountains in these weaker Cumulus.
12:02 PM. Dump truck, fully unloading! Not messing around anymore here.
12:02 PM. Dump truck, fully unloading! Not messing around anymore here.  With cloud bases running around 15°C (59°F) there was a ton of water up there.  Well, thousands of tons.
12:06 PM. I know what you're thinking: "Oh, look, a baby dump. Isn't it cute!"
12:06 PM. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, look, a baby dump. Isn’t it cute!”  Suggests an abnormally narrow turret poked to far higher altitudes that those around it.
12:24 PM. More Cumulus congestus clouds joined the fray and this became a major 2 inches or more producing system over on the Tortolita Mountains.
12:24 PM. More Cumulus congestus clouds joined the fray and this became a major 2 inches or more producing system over on the Tortolita Mountains.
1:01 PM. Now the outflow surge can be seen on the left, pushing new Cumulus turrets above it.
1:01 PM. Now the outflow surge can be seen on the left, pushing new Cumulus turrets above it.  This was about the peak of it, as it gradually wound down.  Its  certain that flash flooding occurred with at least 2 inches  having fallen in the core.

Well, the day closed on a disappointing note as Cumulonimbus debris clouds overspread the sky, killing new convection.

5:45 PM. Altostratus "cumulonimbogenitus." The day went quietly into the night.
5:45 PM. Altostratus “cumulonimbogenitus.” The day went quietly into the night.

The weather way ahead

Looks like below average rain for August.  :(, as we say.  Hoping for error here.  Average August rainfall here in Catalina/Sutherland Heights is 3.16 inches.

 

The End