Looks like CMP is low AGAIN on his prediction! Thought a third was the most that could fall in our present storm chapter (10% chance of more, that is), and best estimate, 0.165 inches. Now it looks like met friend and professor at a major university will be much closer with his half an inch prediction. Very painful. Kind of like Stanford with their brainy team beating the Washington Huskies in fubball . It really hurts.
Let us begin today with a look at desert grasses from this summer and falls rains. Pretty deep, knee high in some areas, but as we know here, full of nettles. Kind of a cool look though.
Was heading out to see, what from Google Space, appeared to be a new meteor crater near me, one maybe the astro boys missed. Turned out it was just a house under construction, pretty much underground as well. Kind of a cool thought to build like this, lots of energy saved, which is always good. Cell phone service likely compromised.
…and a dense discussion of detecting ice in them. I am hoping that my followers noted the time of the first appearance of ice in those Cumulus and Stratocumulus clouds that began to fill in during the middle and late afternoon. As that happened, a few raindrops sputtered down here just after 3 PM as that happened. You should have logged both these events, the first visual appearance of ice, and when those drops fell in your weather diaries.
The whole point of this blog is the detection of ice in clouds by layman and laywomen, or “laypersons” I guess it should be now days. This is because if you see ice developing in lower clouds, something will be falling out of them soon. Ice grows in water clouds at below freezing temperatures at the expense of droplets. Therefore, if they stay in a water cloud long enough, they will get heavy enough to fall out. Poor droppies disappear, unless the air is really rising fast.
An interesting side note is that the air FLOWS THROUGH clouds, exiting on the downwind side. A cloud does not just float along as is. It is moving slower than the air, even itty bitty Cumulus clouds the cloudy air is being replaced constantly. The cloud is really moving upwind relative to the air! The POSITION of the cloud moves downwind, but SLOWER than the air that goes into it.
However, if ice crystals form in a small cloud then, they will fall out as single crystals at the downwind edge; they are not going to reach the ground unless you’re on a mountain top. You saw a fair amount of ice exiting the downwind end of clouds yesterday, falling out and evaporating in the dry air there. Where the cloud is wide, then they can gain some mass, collide with droplets, or other crystals and fall to the ground.
You need clusters of crystals locked together, called “aggregates” or ones that have gone through riming, collisions of ice crystals with drops at below freezing temperatures that freeze on the ice crystal making it more massive to get rain drops to the ground. Riming is what leads to graupel (soft hail) and hard hail (the latter to crystals impacting larger, often precipitation-sized drops that freeze on them).
For air travelers, or those who examine tree icing after storms, rime ice is white and produced by small cloud drops; clear icing is caused by much larger drops, usually drizzle or rain drop sizes. If the drops are too small (much less than about 20 microns) they are too small to hit anything and rather go around solid objects. Let’s say you’re on the top of Ms Mt Lemmon, say at 8.000 feet in the fog. The temperature is 24° F. Its windy. You look around and you see no icing on the pine trees trees up.
Where are you?
Ans: at cloud base.
That’s because itty-bitty drops, too small to hit on pine tree needles are flowing around the needles. Some great comments to make that would enhance your stature as a cloud maven junior is to offer your companion the information, “Wow, look at those trees! Here we are ing the freezing fog, and yet they have no ice sticking to them! That means the cloud droplets are pretty small, smaller than about 20 microns! I guess we’re at the base of this cloud system above us.”
These would be really great things for you to say. Of course, as you drove up to Mt. Lemmon, you would know already how far above cloud base you are, but, what the HECK.
You’re at Ms. Mt. Lemmon again, You like it up there when its in the fog. This time the temperature is 25 ° F. Its windy. The pine trees are loaded with rime icing, the ice juts out in the direction from which the wind is coming.
Where are you?
Answer: At LEAST a few hundred feet, more likely a thousand feet or more above cloud base. Drops have reached sizes above 20 microns in size, as they usually do at these heights above cloud base in old Azy. Later, you notice that the clouds are topping Sam (Samaniego) Ridge at the 6500 foot level. Now, they can’t be disconnected layer clouds, but rather SOLID from base to where you are. Drops are tiny again at the bottom of each layer.
Here’s another example. You get up in the morning after a cold winter storm to see “iced trees” on Ms Lemmon. Another comment you could be making is that, “Wow (always begin with “wow”), those clouds must have really been low based last night, way down on Sam Ridge!”
Riming on trees is analogous to the collection of fog droplets by trees and vegetation along the west coasts of the continents in onshore moving banks of Stratus and Stratocumulus clouds that intercept hillsides. These can be significant sources of water. Some studies of droplet collections by trees have found that under the tree, something like 20-40 inches of “rain” can be collected by a tree in northern California.
Wow, I can’t believe all the information I am providing today! Its really incredible.
OK, to first visible ice yesterday, 3 PM:and