Some additional commentary about these scenes. One of the remarkable things about clouds, a real unknown, is how clouds such as Altocumulus (1st photo) can get so cold, colder than it was this mid-November in Wyoming, and can remain all or mostly water drops, which is what you are looking at in those cloudlets over and beyond the Catalinas. Pretty amazing. This phenomenon has been known about for decades, but not fully explained. We expect to see a lot of ice in clouds with tops colder than -30 C (-22 F) as you might imagine.
Here’s the sounding near the time of these photos, with writing on it:
———-Begin learning module———————————-
As a CMJ, you need to be armed with explanations if, on a morning walk, your neighbor, at first overwhelmed by the morning beauty, but then instead of being quiet, goes on to ask, “Hey, aren’t those clouds composed of droplets; they must be pretty low and warm?”
Since you’ve already seen the TUS sounding for the hours just before this, you know those cloud bottoms are real cold and high, -26 C, and 19,000 feet above you here in Catalina, and tops are really cold, about -32 C (-26 F), you cringe. What to say? How do you explain clouds that can sit there at -32 C and develop little or no ice, while knowing that Cumulus clouds, ones whose tops have never been colder than -7 C, can be completely composed of ice just after reaching up to that temperature?
—————-End of learning module, such as it was———————
Here’s another example from yesterday of extremely cold clouds with few ice crystals:
Well, Shakespeare said it: “Much ado about nothing,” so it must be important if he said it.
Had some really nice cloud scenes after the big clearing came through in mid-afternoon:
There were some light showers that produced as much as 0.20 inches of rain in the south and east parts of Tucson late yesterday afternoon and evening. Nice for them.
The weather way ahead
Nothing in the way of rain in the immediate future. Have to wait until December for any real chances. See this bad boy for December 6-7th, this panel only 360 h from now1!
1360 h in advance, even using our best model, is about in time like the distance to Betelgeuse in light years. Hence, caution when the writer says, “only.”