Category Archives: Definitions

A day dominated by cold Altocumulus punctuated by aircraft-produced hole punches and ice canals

Hope you saw them and recorded them in your cloud and weather diary.  I’m thinking that at the next Cloud Maven Junior meeting we should devote a lot of time to this issue.  It was a rare day yesterday that the WHOLE day had that phenomenon occurring as aircraft penetrated those clouds, usually on ascent or descent.  Sharp descents/ascents produce holes.  See the sequence below if you don’t believe me (ppt from a recent talk):

Aircraft inadvertent cloud seeding for Julie Mc.

Yesterday’s clouds:  lots and lots of  aircraft-produced ice

(btw, see note below about pop-up ads in this blog, ones that started to appear after downloading latest WP software)

6:44 AM. Altocumulus at sunrise. As we say so many times here in old AZzy, “So pretty.”
Also at 6:44 AM. From a smartphone, color not so great, though not bad either.
U of AZ Wildcats balloon sounding, launched at about 3:30 AM yesterday. Those Altcumulus clouds were way up there for Altocu, 22,000 feet above Catalina, 25,000 feet above sea level.because they were so high, were so cold, AND were composed of supercooled liquid water, they ripe for aircraft to create ice going through them, likely on climb out and descent from TUS and perhaps PHX as well, Davis-Monthan.  What was unusual, was that it was happening most all day as the clouds filled in some.  They remained liquid, high, and cold.

7:23 AM. Wasn’t long before aircraft made their presence known in this cold, cold layer.
6:54 AM. I should point out that a colder topped Altostratus layer was present to the N. Its not represented well in the TUS sounding. That layer was all or mostly all ice (the rosy colored segment of this photo).
7:37 AM. An unperturbed view of Altocumulus perlucidus (“Mackerel sky”). Are there any mackerel left?    Also, from a cloud viewing standpoint, these are much higher than one would guess. The fact that aircraft were making ice in them is a clue that they were higher than we would normally think of a “middle-level” cloud.   I like patterns like this.  I thought you would like to know that about me.
9:03 AM. Slicing and dicing. An aircraft has left a contrail through a Altocumulus line . What’s really unusual here is the ice contrail so far outside the liquid water cloud. It is thought that hole-punch and ice canals are limited to regions where there are liquid droplets, and so this is quite an anomaly, one that suggests the humidity was almost 100% with respect to water outside the cloud boundaries. Also, can you just make out the partial 22° halo, indicating very simple ice crystals like columns and plates?  Streamers of tiny ice crystals are also evident, trailing to the right, below the contrail?  This shows that the wind decreased rapidly with height just below the flight level, but was still from the southwest to west.
9:24 AM. Coming at you, another ice-canal has formed SW-W of Catalina, a favored locale for the formation of these canals on days like this.
9:40 AM. What’s left of it is almost to Catalina.  Note streamers of ice.  Below, a close up of a couple.
9:40 AM. The intensity and narrowness of these streamers point to an artificial origin. So, even if you didn’t see the canal, and here, some of the clouds are reforming at the top of the streamer, you would make a good guess that this was not natural ice.  Sometimes the canals can fill back in if the air is in overall ascent at cloud level.
9:57 AM. Here’s what those contrails in Altocumulus look like as they first appear. Can you spot’em? There are two.
1:45 PM. Another aircraft-produced ice event as the Altocumulus increased and became thicker, making detection of these events less obvious. Sometimes a canal clearing is very muted.
4:12 PM. Aircraft-induced hole punch cloud with ice below the hole. Can you spot it? See close up below.
4:12 PM. Close-up of that hole punch, ice mostly below the Altocumulus layer.
4:35 PM. That hole punch cloud 35 min later. The long trail indicates high humidity well below the Altocumulus layer in which it appeared.
The 3:30 PM balloon sounding from the U of AZ. A study in ambiguity.
The day ended with an unusually bright sun dawg, mock sun, or parhelia. So bright it did, again, suggest a plume of ice from a prior aircraft passage through extra cold Altocu or Cirrocu clouds. But, just wild speculation here.  Hope you don’t mind.
5:41 PM. Nice sunset, but one strongly impacted by clearing from aircraft-produced holes and lines of ice, the ice now mostly gone.

The End

 

——————About those nuisance ads—————

Note to me and the two other people that drop by my cloud or “clod” blogulations:  The embedded pop-up ads are due to a WP third party plug-in that needs to be repaired.  It will likely happen today.

 

After consultations about ads…

Oddly,  those pop-ups and blue highlighting and double underlining do not seem to be present outside of my personal view of my own blog, this according to hoster, “godaddy.”  Even using a different browser other than FIrefox does not show them as I have just verified.

 

Some recent pretty clods

Been busy as a briefly unretired science worker (gave a stressful talk at a university last week) and thought maybe a lot of usual drop ins to this site might not anymore.   So, in the title for today,  am reaching out to a new demographic: persons interested in congealed soil matter.  They might later, after stopping by, discover a new interest; that in clouds, pretty ones.  Most of the cheap tricks I try like this don’t have any effect, though.  Oh, well.

Let us go forward after backing up:

November 3rd

8:01 November 3rd. OK, I’m way behind! Flock of Cirrus uncinus overruns Catalina and environs.
8:02 AM. Looking SW from Catalina. So pretty with the deep blue skies we have at this time of year due to sun’s lower angle in the sky.
9:16 AM. Look how different, even unreal, that flock of Cirrus looked when leaving us. Looking NE toward the Charouleau Gap.

But the Cirrus kept coming and more odd sights were seen:

10:06 AM. Two levels of Cirrus can be seen. This vertical white patch is likely a few thousand feet lower than the crossing faint strands center and right side,  which are likely above 30,000 feet above the ground.  The heavier Cirrus (spissatus) in the distance is also lower than the strands.

Heavier Cirrus, increasing and lowering to Altostratus finished off the day as a heavy shield of middle and upper clouds raced toward southern Arizona from the Pacific:

3:08 PM. Cirrus spissatus here, too splotchy in coverage to be Altostratus. Nice subtle lighting effect on the Catalinas…

 

“Due to time constraints, we move ahead in the action…”

November 4th

7:27 AM. Classic A row of Altocumulus floccus and castellanus underlie an Altostratus layer.  Where the bases have disappeared, at right, are termed “floccus”, if you care.
8:00 AM. Altostratus, some lower Altocumulus  castellanus with graniteen boulders and a coupla saguaros.
8:59 AM. Bird collective watches in hopes that the darkening, lowering Altostratus layer  (with some Altocumulus) will bring rain. It didn’t. “Dang”, we say here.
4:51 PM. All of the higher layers were gone, leaving only a lowest, but thin scattered to broken Stratocumulus clouds. 🙁  All in all, it was a good day for hiking and other outdoor activities.

Sunday, November 5th:

6:01 AM. Flock of CIrrus uncinus and spissatus again advances on Catalina.
6:21 AM. a closer view. Here they seem to be uncinus with fibratus. Stratocumulus clouds were topping the Catalinas, too, indicating more humidity than we have been seeing most of the past few weeks.
8:38 AM. I thought this was an especially spectacular scene, this lattice of Cirrus racing toward us.  Hope you did, too.

4:26 PM. Perhaps the brightest example of iridescence I have ever seen! Just spectacular for a few seconds in this patch of Cirrocumulus. Iridescence is caused by diffraction around the tiny of droplets, less than 10 microns in diameter, as are present when a cloud just forms.

5:09 PM. Seeing this scene of Altocumulus, you KNEW you were in for a superb sunset.  It didn’t disappoint.
5:39 PM.
5:40 PM. There is no virga here.
5:44 PM. Super!

The weather just ahead

The Wildcat Weather Department model is foretelling perhaps a measurable rain event between this afternoon and tomorrow morning at 7 AM!  Heavier rain is foretold to be south of us, but just a slight error would mean something more substantial.  Hoping for error!  A sky covering Altostratus layer is just about assured with a lowering tendency as the day goes on.  Should see some Altocu , too, a day a lot like last Saturday.

The End

Raindrops fall on Catalina ending rainless October

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.

A study in cold Altocumulus and about a balloon mistaken for a space object

Balloon sounding released from the U of AZ about 3:30 PM AST. Altocumulus clouds were no less than 21,000 feet above Catalina at -20°C (4°F).  Sounding courtesy of IPS Meteostar.  BTW, it wasn’t this balloon–see below.
11:15 AM. A stationary balloon that hovers SE of Tucson.  Can you find it?  I had never noticed it before and at first thought it was in space, above the Cirrus!  How crazy was that?  Likely to be a device up there  to monitor the US Border.
2:55 PM. Cirrocumulus with an aircraft produced ice canal in it , tight half of photo (that ice cloud now termed, “Cirrus anthropogenitus”).
4:02 PM. A complex sky for sure. Little tufts of Altocumulus way up at 21,000 feet above ground level, with Ac castellanus turrets (e.g., left above horizon).  SInce those turrets are reaching up to temperatures well below -30°C (-22°F)  they’re converting to all ice (such as center right).   Those icy ones would be called, “Cirrus spissatus.”  It would also not be untoward, and I know you don’t want that, to just call those deeper clouds with turrets on the left, “Cirrus castellanus.”

5:56 PM. Lines of Altocumulus make for an OK sunset.

Another pretty cloud day ahead.  Though most of the Altocumulus clouds are flat, there are some whoppers off to the north now, Ac cas so large they might have to be called Cumulonimbus, certainly large enough to produce radar echoes, maybe a sprinkle at the ground.

Lots of wind tomorrow, as you likely know,  but no rain in sight still.  So, October almost surely will end as a rainless month.  Our average for October is just over an inch of rain!

The End

Pretty sunrises/sunsets ahead and that’s about it for October

Footnote


A warm, rainless October appears to be our fate, much like last year when only 0.01 inches fell.  Oh, me.  Our dryness since the end of July,  with so many cloudless skies, continues on and on.  Tough to take  if you’re cloud-centric.

However, this month, though likely rainless, promises to deliver some great sunrises and sunsets as weak regions of rising air  pass above  us in the days ahead, that rising air showing up as lots of middle and upper level clouds like Altocumulus,  Altostratus with virga, and CIrrus over many of the remaining days.  Those kinds of clouds can be associated with the most spectacular ones sunrises and sunsets.

I guess that’s something.

Below, a sample pretty scene for cloud-starved readers.

Taken by the Arthur on a University of Washington research flight in the early 1990s. The scene is the Willapa Bay Wildlife Refuge, Washington. We were studying the lifecycle of Cumulus clouds and the aerosol environments affecting them. On this calm day, Cumulus could form over the tiniest strips of warmer land. You would not see this scene on a windy day. So, the shot is not only “pretty”, but an unusual one.  I was so lucky to have seen so many pretty scenes in research!

 

The End

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Again, pardon the links to ads.  I have nothing to do with them.  Will make them go away via $$ in the days ahead.

 

The 2016-17 Water Year for Catalina and how it compares to prior years

There are links appearing below in the online version that I have not added!  Please ignore them until I find out what WordPress has done!

Blog as originally written,  below:

—————–

This is all I have for now.    Am catching up after a long absence due to computer issues.

Advice: its best to never upgrade, and,   “If its not broke, don’t fix it.”

Weather station still offline….  “:(”

WY 2016-17

Catalina record of water years through 17

The End

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.

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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!
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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