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
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. 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.
12:36 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. 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…
3:35 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! (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! (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. 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.
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. 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 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.
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.