A belated post, to be sure
Yesterday morning’s sounding when the Altocumulus clouds were overhead. Bases about -18 C, tops -27 C. Lots of ice visible along with widespread virga. Whenever you see this much ice in small Altocumulus clouds like these, you should automatically assume that the temperature at the top is less than -20 C.
Usefulness of this information in everyday conversation, a module I call, “Conversational Meteorology.”
The scene: you’re walking/hiking with a friend on a warm morning when sunrise occurs. You see these clouds. The conversation has died off since you’ve been walking for several hours. You’re looking for something to say to re-energize the conversation. Suddenly, you look up and see this scene below and blurt out, “Man, those clouds are cold!” The volume of your blurtation has surprised even you, and startles your friend who was thinking about that tortoise on the trail ahead of you. You rattle on about how cold the clouds with a followup, “Man, they must be at least colder than -20 C!” Your friend seems puzzled at your excitement, but listens politely’ after all he is your friend. You quickly add, “Almost every cloud has some snow coming out of it, no matter how small it is! Wow!” Your friend, now saturated with your exuberances, asks if you saw the last episode of NCIS last night?