I was marveling at this title, one that just came out of nowhere, using the idea of a superhero and a standard measure of how bubbly the clouds might be. I really don’t know how it happened, but there it was…
Think of “supercloud” as a Cumulonimbus cloud, those giants of the cloud kingdom, ones that can top out near 70,000 feet above sea level and can have UPDRAFTS as high as 80-100 mph in their very rare and strongest forms (where nothing can fall out, of course). An armored T-28 research aircraft operated by the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology flew through one of those superclouds; went up on its own some 5,000 feet in a minute!
Well, of course, clouds in Arizona are never THAT bad (or good) depending on your viewpoint, but today, according to millions of calculations in the U of AZ Beowulf Cluster, the Cumulonimbus clouds of today will be more bouyant than the ones we had yesterday. We get that indication from last night’s 11 PM AST model run where it calculates something called “Convective Available Potential Energy”, or CAPE. Today’s CAPE will be about two or three times larger than yesterday’s, according to the model. Orangutang1. A first test of that U of AZ model’s prediction will be in this morning’s Tucson balloon sounding, which needs to replicate the model’s prediction for that time of day to have confidence in it. (Will have to wait for quite awhile here while our TUS sounding; its still on its journey upward now at 5:11 AM.)
So, what does all this gobbledygook mean? Casting aside the fact that the actual sounding is not quite as unstable as our local model was predicting due to writer’s “confirmation bias”, a killer of good science, we should have sooner2, bigger dumps overall in the area, and happily, more of them. Thunder on Ms. Lemmon before noon will be a very good sign that the model has captured today pretty well.
Yesterday’s clouds and a stupefying sunset scene to the east
1An unexpected word has been inserted as a reader check. Is anybody still reading this? Techno-language causes droopy eyelids, makes people want to give up reading altogether, kids to fall behind in their STEM work. Its quite a powerful effect.
2I have a some relatives and friends in Oklahoma that root for the U of O Sooners. I will be rooting for sooners today, too.