Yes, we had some yesterday evening in those Altocumulus lenticularis clouds or just “clouds” for most of you. This delicate “rainbow” coloring in last evening’s clouds is due to the diffraction of light around really small cloud droplets, ones that have just formed, a few microns to 1o microns or so in diameter. Because the droplets have to be “really small” to produce this effect, iridescence is almost always located at the upwind edge of clouds that thicken downwind, as these do. It was more colorful than I could photograph, but here are a couple of shots of that phenomenon we call cloud iridescence, or irisation:
By the way, the winds at cloud level here (around 2o -22 kft above the ground and at -30 C or so) were just about 100 mph (85 knots) at this time as that huge trough over southern California edges closer to us. Unfortunately, it is “ejected” to the northeast out of southern Cal this morning and that means that this whole upper level system will be moving faster and faster as it moves toward Arizona and then into the Plains States. That means that the band of rain generated with this system will be moving through at a faster pace and for that reason won’t produce as much rain as it might have if the system was not speeding up. Still, looks like we should get, here in Catalinaland, around a quarter to half an inch. Very exciting, since it will do what vegetation we have some good.
Free range grazing land now down to about just dirt, as little of the spring grasses have poked up before being ravaged by hungry cattle and native wildlife. Kinda depressing after last spring’s bountiful display of grasses and wildflowers. I have contrasting photos below as well. You won’t like what you see in this comparison because it brings our droughty winter into sharp focus. What is nice about our desert is that the mesquite and acacia bushes/ trees don’t seem to care how dry it is and are still are intensely green this time of the year, some consolation for the lack of green elsewhere.
You also may be struck by how tall I am, perhaps I played basketball in college you wonder. In the first photo illustrating the dry conditions, I am apparently several feet taller than my wife, Judy, who walks ahead of me with Zuma, one of our dogs. I guess I could have been on stilts, but I am actually on our horse, Jake, and am not that tall FYI.