Category Archives: Definitions

Clouds continue to beguile, even when they’re tiny

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.

The U of AZ balloon sounding for yesterday afternoon, released about 3:30 PM AST.
The U of AZ balloon sounding for yesterday afternoon, released about 3:30 PM AST, courtesy of MeteoStar., I hope.

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 balloon sounding launched about 3:30 AM this morning from the U of AZ. Our cloud band is almost twice as thick as it was yesterday afternoon as bases lowered and tops went up some.
The balloon sounding launched about 3:30 AM this morning from the U of AZ. Our cloud band is almost twice as thick as it was yesterday afternoon as bases lowered and tops went up some.  The sounding, too, went right up into the middle of that band, now exiting the area.

The result, some ice has formed even though they’re hardly colder than just -9°C or -10°C (14°F).  Check the radar:

From Wundermaps, 6:219 AM.
From Wundermaps, 6:219 AM.

Here are some cloud shots from the past couple of days.  Should be some more great scenes today:

The last summer Cumulonimbus harrah. Goodbye sweet summer thunderstorms. :(
The last summer Cumulonimbus harrah. Goodbye sweet summer thunderstorms. 🙁  See you next year.
10:37 AM September 19th
10:37 AM September 19th.  A field of Cumulus fractus, those shred clouds from which even might oaks can form.  Not this day, though.
10:58 AM, September 19th still, way back there still. Hope you remember this scene. We now have a Cumulus mediocris. Work hard in life, try not to be "medocris."
10:58 AM, September 19th still, way back there still. Hope you remember this scene. We now have a Cumulus mediocris. Work hard in life, try not to be “medocris” if you can.
12:44 PM. Got pretty cloudy that day for a few minutes, then cleared off.
12:44 PM. Got pretty cloudy that day for a few minutes, then cleared off.
3:10 PM. After it cleared off and the clouds went small again, we had some nice shadow effects on our mountains.
3:10 PM. After it cleared off and the clouds went small again, we had some nice shadow effects on our mountains.
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….

4:02 PM, September 20th. Oh, so pretty Cumulus humilis against that deep blue sky. Thanks you, "Cosmic Muffen" or "Hairy Thunderer." (Allusions to "Deteriorata" by Firesign Theatre.
4:02 PM, September 20th. Oh, so pretty Cumulus humilis against that deep blue sky. Thanks you, “Cosmic Muffen” or “Hairy Thunderer1.”
4:48 PM, September 20th. A cloud street is launched off the Tucson mountains and sails over the Oro Valley and Catalina.
4:48 PM, September 20th. A cloud street is launched off the Tucson mountains and sails over the Oro Valley and Catalina.
4:49 PM. More dramatic shadows, ones produced by that cloud street.
4:49 PM. More dramatic shadows, ones produced by that cloud street.
6:24 PM, September 20th. The fading sun colorizes those last of the Cumulus.
6:24 PM, September 20th. The fading sun colorizes those last of the Cumulus.
3:15 PM, September 21st, another breezy day with small Cumulus.
3:15 PM, September 21st, another breezy day with small Cumulus.  I hope you like to see small Cumulus over and over again…

Moving ahead to yesterday and the day long cloud band….

6:19 AM, yesterday. That band of Stratocumulus had sprung up overnight, providing a really pretty sunrise color. Hope you saw it. Only lasted a couple of minutes.
6:19 AM, yesterday. That band of Stratocumulus had sprung up overnight, providing a really pretty sunrise color. Hope you saw it. Only lasted a couple of minutes.
7:17 AM. Not much upwind at this point but wind.
7:17 AM. Not much upwind at this point but wind.
12:05 PM. Some Altocumulus began to appear upwind of us, eventually merging in a band.
12:05 PM. Some Altocumulus began to appear upwind of us, eventually merging in a band.
1:48 PM. Our band is really beginning to consolidate at this time (looking S on Equestrian Trail Road, aka, Lost Hubcap Trail Road).
1:48 PM. Our band is really beginning to consolidate at this time (looking S on Equestrian Trail Road, aka, Lost Hubcap Trail Road).
5:10 PM. Bases had lowered to about 8,000 feet above us from the afternoon shot. Because the air way above us was cooling, the cloud began to sprout Cumulus towers. Looked for ice but none seen, so no virga around either, though it sure looked ready for that.
5:10 PM. Bases had lowered to about 8,000 feet above us from the afternoon shot. Because the air way above us was cooling, the cloud began to sprout Cumulus towers. Looked for ice but none seen, so no virga around either, though it sure looked ready for that.  Without ice, you’d be thinking tops must be warmer than -10°C (14°F).
5:52 PM. Our band remains in full display and will overnight. I would deem these clouds Stratocumulus, hold the ice.
5:52 PM. Our band remains in full display and will overnight. I would deem these clouds Stratocumulus, hold the ice.
6:09 PM. You can't have a better scene than our Catalina mountains highlighted by the setting sun. We are so lucky to be here!
6:09 PM. You can’t have a better scene than our Catalina mountains highlighted by the setting sun. We are so lucky to be here!
6:27 PM. Still going after all those hours, but not doing anything, just sitting around up there looking pretty.
6:27 PM. Still going after all those hours, but not doing anything, just sitting around up there looking pretty.

For the best weather discussion, see Bob M.

The End.

—————————–

1Allusions to “Deteriorata” by The National Lampoon Theater.

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.
DSC_8270
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.
DSC_8286
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!
DSC_8357
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

DSC_8158
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!
DSC_8230
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

DSC_8114
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.
Ann DSC_8118
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.
DSC_8134
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!
DSC_8145
6:09 PM. Hah! A shower at last! And the movement is in the general direction of Catalina!
DSC_8150
6:36 PM. Stupendous sunset view, and this cluster is getting closer!
DSC_8157
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

Ugh continues in southern AZ

See for yourself:

DSC_7919
5:43 PM. Poor clouds (Cumulus humilis and fractus having to ingest all that smoke).
6:35 PM.
6:35 PM.  Gritty not pretty.
Smog report from the US NAVY Monterrey branch for the West.
Smog report from the US NAVY Monterrey branch for the West.  And look how bad it is in the Pac NW! (Lower right panel).

Our persistent easterly flow is dragging smoke that circulated from the Pac NW and MT fires into AZ since that smoke was circulated southward into the southern Plains States as we saw in those back trajectories from a couple of days ago.

Ten day back trajectory for 3000 m above ground level, ending yesterday at 11 AM AST. Huh.
Ten day back trajectory for 3000 m above ground level, ending yesterday at 11 AM AST. Huh.
134842_trj001
Ten day back trajectory for 200 m above ground level ending yesterday at 11 AM AST. Looks like some air from Houston drifted came over us. Wow, what a surprise that is!
134726_trj001
Ten day back trajectory for 1500 m above ground level ending yesterday at 11 AM AST. Another, “huh.”
134355_trj001
FOUR day back trajectory for 500 m above ground level ending yesterday at 11 AM AST. Probably pretty accurate. As you can see smoke has come all the way from the Gulf of Mexico across southern Texas to get here. Amazing. Most likely, its still smoke, though, from the widespread and numerous fires in the Pac NW and MT that drifted all the way down there before heading over here.

Some Cumulonimbus clouds are foretold to develop in the region today, more tomorrow.   This should mean some clarification of the air as the smoky air is mixed over a great depth.  Also it appears that the air will be coming from a less smoky direction, more from the south in two or three days, along with a much greater chance for significant rain, and that should help get Arizona skies back to the ones we love!

The End

Everything you could want in a summer rain season day except a good rain; toad finds relief in dogs’ water bowl

8:11 PM yesterday. This surprising and humorous sight! We kept wondering why there was dirt in the dogs' water bowl in the morning. We thought a javelina or coyote had sipped out of it. Looks pretty happy in there!
8:11 PM yesterday:. this surprising and humorous sight! We kept wondering why there was dirt in the dogs’ water bowl in the morning. We thought a javelina or coyote had sipped out of it. He looks pretty happy in there!   But how did he get in without tipping the bowl over?  He just barely fits !

 

Now for some disappointing weather and cloud talk…

Well, not much rain, anyway, just 0.04 hundredths here.   Nice to see, though.  For a time it looked like we were going to get fully shafted by that complex coming over Sam (Samaniego) Ridge around 5:30 PM AST.

On the one  hand. we got to enjoy plenty of thunder and some big booms a few times, on the other, an OK rainbow as the rain crept closer on lion’s feet, some gusty winds, 25-35 mph,  that blew stuff around, and on a fourth hand, an OK summer rain season sunset.

But let us begin by going  back to Sunday for a moment and view an interesting contrail, an old one that looks like a version of CIrrus uncinus.

10:07 AM. Cirrus uncinus anthrogenitus. Yes, that's the new name of older contrails. The long hooks mean that the air was pretty much saturated with respect to ice below the contrail, allowing the contrail tufts to produce long streaks before evaporating in a dryer layer below the moist one. Got it?
10:07 AM, Sunday, Sept. 3rd.   Cirrus uncinus anthrogenitus. Yes, that’s the new name of older contrails that resemeble natural Cirrus The long hooks mean that the air was pretty close to  saturation with respect to ice below the contrail, allowing the contrail tufts right behind the jet to produce long streaks before evaporating in a dryer layer below the moist one.  This contrail remnant is likely more than an hour old, the oldest portion to the right, the younger portion to the left.
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10:07 AM Sunday, Sept. 3rd.
DSC_7855
12:09 PM. Nice to see Cumulus almost leaping off the Catalina Mountains at last, though in continuing smoky skies. Huh. “Smoky Sky.” Could be a western singer from LA, maybe Burbank.
DSC_7857
2:29 PM. Cumulus congestus stage reached!
3:32 PM. The drama of lighting, not lightning, though not AS dramatic.
3:32 PM. The drama of lighting, not lightning, though not AS dramatic.
DSC_7862
3:32 PM. At the same time as the shadow drama, thunder is being heard from this stuff–doesn’t look well organized now. A few drops hit just after this shot.
3:33 PM. A crown up there! Wow. Indicates a stupendous updraft went right up over me! That's why this little guy is producing thunder, though no real shaft came out.
3:33 PM. A anvil crown up there! Wow. Indicates a stupendous updraft went  up right over me! That’s why this little guy is producing thunder, though no real shaft came out.
3:37 PM. Grew a bit AFTER passing over, of course, though still no major shaft, just an occasional rumble.
3:37 PM. Grew a bit AFTER passing over, of course, though still no major shaft, just an occasional rumble.
4:26 PM. Weak, almost pathethetic, Cumulonimbus clouds with an occasional rumble, formed over the Catalinas. The rainshafts were weak, like this one, implying not a lot of water was lifted up. Bases were cold, below freezing is one reason.
4:26 PM. Weak, almost pathetic, Cumulonimbus clouds with an occasional rumble, formed over the Catalinas. The rainshafts were weak, like this one, implying not a lot of water was lifted up. Bases were cold, near the freezing is one reason, lack of size and depth, too, chipped in to create a sprinkly puff.
4:40 PM. Its upwind from Sutherland Heights, but looks as weak as the prior Cbs.
4:40 PM. Its upwind from Sutherland Heights, but looks as weak as the prior Cbs.
5:29 PM. Was inside for an hour and came out to this monster right upwind of us! Yay! CONTUS thunder, too! Wow.
5:29 PM. Was inside for an hour and came out to this monster right upwind of us! Yay! CONTUS thunder, too! Wow.
5:37 PM. This is looking "awesome", finally a big dump headed our way!
5:37 PM. This is looking “awesome”, finally a big dump headed our way!

 

5:43 PM. "Incoming!"
5:43 PM. “Incoming! Incoming!”  I wonder if the neighbors can hear me?  But, wait a minute, that looks like a tinge of blue on the left over there towards Oracle.  Oh, no, not a wide as thought.  Wind hitting real good, though.  Maybe it will push something up over us.  (Nope.)
DSC_7899
6:42 PM. The day ends with collapsing Cumulonimbus clouds and their fine (that is, transparent) rainshafts.
6:43 PM. The day ends with a rosy glow. Huh. Rosy Glow? Could be a name for a western singer from Tucson! Its amazing how many western singers cloud maven person can come up with!
6:43 PM. The day ends with a rosy glow. Huh. Rosy Glow? Could be a name for a western singer from Tucson! Its amazing how many western singers cloud maven person can name.

U of AZ WRF-GOOFUS mod doesn’t think a shower will happen for another couple of days.  Since we have Ac cas this morning, I am looking askance at that output, hoping its dead wrong!

 

The End

August disappoints: a look back at a disappointing August, and then a look forward at haze

August rainfall total in Sutherland Heights:  A measly 1.10 inches, to editorialize that bit, rather than to just report facts.   Average August rain here is  3.16 inches.  Egad.

End of looking back….”What’s the Use” (Tuxedomoon) said it best, well, maybe.

What about the haze?  Where’s it coming from and its awful! And its here again today.   Reminds one who lived in southern California of summer skies in southern California, hazy, whitish, the orange- colored sunsets that people sometimes thought were “so pretty” but they were ugly because they were orange because of smoke and smog and s like that.

Where’s it coming from, to repeat?  Not sure.  But see back trajectories below.

These suggest its coming from the east in the last day or so of the trajectories.  The trajectories start high up because we’re in the descending air branch of an upper air anti-cyclone that’s dessicating the air, preventing even little baby Cumulus from forming.

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Lidia’s moisture will help some, but it appears no rain will reach us today,   Dang.

But things get more promising for at least a short return of the summer rain season (remember, the real monsoon is in India) in the immediate days ahead,  phrasingly vague enough to insure a great forecast verfication! haha

DSC_7815 DSC_7814Looks across Catalina and Oro Valley toward the Twin Peaks area yesterday afternoon.  “Egad”, to repeat a mild expletive.

6:44 PM. Sunset over the Tortolita Mountains, where else would it be from Catalina (at this time of year)?
6:44 PM. Orangey sunset over the Tortolita Mountains, where else would it be from Catalina (at this time of year)?  The orange suggests a smoke aspect in the aerosol.
Back trajectory ending at 500 m above ground at Tucson at 11 AM AST.
Four-day back trajectory ending at 500 m above the ground and at 11 AM AST yesterday over Tucson.
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Four-day back trajectory ending at 2000 m above ground and at 11 AM AST over Tucson.

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