Cirrus, Cirrocumulus and Altostratus day closes with a painting-like sunset (now updated even more!)

No rain in sight for Catalinans, to get that over with.

However, if you’re bored and are thinking about a quickie storm chasing vacation with the family, monster storms, likely to produce newspaper headlines will be smashing the Pac NW in the next few days.  Expect to read about flooding and hurricane to 100 mph winds on the Washington/Oregon coast sometime.  Also, Tofino, British Columbia, along the SW coast of Vancouver Island, would be a great place to head for, watching giant waves crash up against the coast and around that lighthouse they have around there, pounding rains…

The long fetch with these storms in the Pacific guarantees some monster waves.

3:49 AM, 14 Oct:  Mark “WeatherPal”  Albright informed me that a 94 mph wind was observed last evening (the 13th) near Astoria, OR.

The next low,   a “regular low” but one energized by leftover moisture from Typhoon Songda,  looks to be even stronger than last night’s low.  This one comes  in  moving really rapidly tomorrow evening while deepening (central pressure is dropping further) as it passes over the Washington coast.  Looks like that one will be a “blow-down” storm;  good-bye timber.

The synoptic pattern (placement of jet streams and lows) is       “Freda-esque”, that is, similar to that of October 12, 1962, the infamous Columbus Day storm where a remnant of Typhoon Freda zipped in as a regular low that deepened explosively as it raced up the Pacific NW coast bringing winds of 100-200 mph and blowing down BILLIONS of board feet of timber as well as weather pal, Mark Albright,  mentioned above,  when he was a kid1

Well, we sure hope its not THAT similar!

Yesterday’s Clouds

Lots of interesting patterns and complexities in yesterday’s skies. If you didn’t see them, here they are, though its kind of a much ado about nothing, really:

1:23 PM. Icy Cirrocumulus. As a solid band of high and middle clouds approached, the first things we saw as the moisture began to increase aloft were some spectacular patterns in isolated high clouds as it approached. Probably most of the Cirrocumulus we see is composed of droplets, but here, it appears to be composed of ice, possibly starting as droplets at the upwind edge,
1:23 PM. Icy Cirrocumulus. As a solid band of high and middle clouds approached, the first things we saw as the moisture began to increase aloft were some spectacular patterns in isolated high clouds as the solid band  approached. Probably most of the Cirrocumulus we see is composed of droplets,  and never glaciates, but here, it appears to be composed of ice, though likely started as droplets at the upwind edge (middle of photo).  At the top of the photo, the tiny “granulets” are fibrous, clearly ice, and strands of ice crystals are starting to make their way down.
1:23 PM. Got excited and thought you might like a zoomed view of this patch in case you didn't get one.
1:23 PM. Got excited and thought you might like a zoomed view of this patch in case you didn’t get one.
1:30 PM. I thought this was kind of a strange and fun pattern for you. Look how the youngest cloud elements are over there beyond the Catalinas and the oldest ones with strands of ice crystals falling out are overhead. Besides perspective giving you a sense of radiating lines, one would normally guess that the wind way up there (about 30 kft above the ground) is heading toward you, newest parts back there, oldest ones arriving overhead, which would be from the south in this shot. But the wind was from the west-southwest at this level, perpendicular to this scene. Can't say either of us has seen this before, quite the "Tom Foolery" in a cloud scene.
1:30 PM. I thought this was kind of a strange and fun pattern for you. Look how the youngest cloud elements are over there beyond the Catalinas and the oldest ones with strands of ice crystals falling out are overhead. Besides perspective giving you a sense of radiating lines, one would normally guess that the wind way up there (about 30 kft above the ground) is heading toward you, newest cloud (Cirrocumulus, maybe lenticularis)  back there, oldest ones arriving overhead, which would be from the south in this shot.  But the wind was from the west-southwest at this level, perpendicular to this scene. Can’t say either of us has seen this before; quite the “Tom Foolery” in a cloud scene, a real knee-slapper.  Clouds do that a lot where we think we know what is going on, but, as they say, “upon further review”…..
1:32 PM. Confusion? Strands of ice and waves in this cloud seem to run in various directions.
1:32 PM. Confusion? Strands of ice and waves in this cloud that produced lines seem to run in various directions.  Some lines are perpendicular to the wind, blowing from the lower right to the upper left side, representing little bumps in the air, ones resembling sea swell rolling in to the shore,
1:40 PM. Pretty much unfathomable, too complex to even begin describing, which makes it worth photographing. We can make out some icy Cirrocumulus though, here and there, with that lenticular-looking backside beyond the mountains, though perspective may be bunching it up to look that way.
1:40 PM. Pretty much unfathomable, too complex to even begin describing in less than a page, which makes it worth photographing. We can make out what CMP deems as some icy Cirrocumulus though, here and there, with that lenticular-looking backside beyond the mountains, though perspective may be bunching it up to look that way.  I’ve already taken too many photos in just eight minutes!
2:10 PM. Breathing easier now, here, "simple" Cirrus fibratus, lined Cirrus clouds with mostly non-curving fibers,
2:10 PM. Breathing easier now, here, “simple” Cirrus fibratus, lined Cirrus clouds with mostly non-curving fibers,
Also 2:10 PM. The scene upwind of that "liney" Cirrus. Also "fibratus" except overhead there looks to be "uncinus" as evidenced by those thick regions likely trailing ice strands back toward the viewer.
Also 2:10 PM. The scene upwind of that “liney” Cirrus. Also “fibratus” except overhead there looks to be “uncinus” as evidenced by those thick regions (upper right hand corner) likely trailing ice strands back toward the viewer.
2:18 PM. Pretty soon the heavier masses of CIrrus began to appear, with lower, but still very cold droplet clouds just below them.
2:18 PM. Pretty soon the heavier masses of CIrrus (Spissatus) with some gray shading began to appear, with lower, but still very cold and at least momentarily,  Altocumulus droplet clouds  (above bush on the right) began to appear just below the Cirrus.  Clouds almost always lower in time, even when they don’t lead to a storm.
2:18 PM. More patterns. Here we have a mush of Altocumulus, very fine granulation of Cirrocumulus (top) and CIrrus clouds passing overhead. You can tell if clouds are at different levels by looking to see if they are moving all at the same rate. Here, if you looked really carefully, the little white tufts of Altocumulus clouds were moving in a slightly different direction than the Cirrus clouds were. How important is this. Not too much.
2:18 PM. More patterns. Here we have a mush of Altocumulus, very fine granulation of Cirrocumulus (top) and CIrrus clouds passing overhead. You can tell if clouds are at different levels by looking to see if they are moving all at the same rate. Here, if you looked really carefully, the little white tufts of Altocumulus clouds were moving in a slightly different direction than the Cirrus clouds were. How important is this. Not too much.
4:18 PM. Skipping ahead, the full boatload of this band, consisting of a thick Altostratus, was passed over at this time. The clearing on the right told you there was going to be a nice sunset in a couple of hours. This was the lowest level the moisture got to. somewhere in the 22-25 kft above the ground, according the the TUS sounding though the darkness of it may make it look lower.
4:18 PM. Skipping ahead, the full boatload of this band, consisting of a thick Altostratus, was passed over at this time. The clearing on the right told you there was going to be a nice sunset in a couple of hours. This was the lowest level the moisture got to. somewhere in the 22-25 kft above the ground, according the the TUS sounding though the darkness of it may make it look lower.
6:01 PM. Almost could have been a painting. The gradual ascent that produced the heavy line of Altostratus is now being broken up by patches of downward moving air, leaving holes and streakiness in the former solid cloud shield. But who cares when you can just sit and take scenes like this in!
6:01 PM. Almost could have been a painting. VIncent Van Gogh himself could not do this scene justice.  If you’ve seen his work, like “Starry Night“, you’ll know how bad he was at capturing the sky.  But for him to try to capture this scene, it would be beyond “bad”, but rather a total and complete travesty,.  The gradual ascent that produced the heavy line of Altostratus is now being broken up by patches of downward moving air, leaving holes and streakiness in the former solid cloud shield. But who cares when you can just sit and take scenes like this in!
6:06 PM. The moon amid CIrrus spissatus and other varieties of Cirrus. Notice that the disk of the moon is just a bit blurry, out of focus. That blurring is due to ice crystals in those Cirrus clouds. If it was a thin droplet cloud, the disk would appear crisp and very sharp.
6:06 PM. The moon amid CIrrus spissatus and other varieties of Cirrus. Notice that the disk of the moon is just a bit blurry, out of focus. That blurring is due to ice crystals in those Cirrus clouds. If it was a thin droplet cloud, the disk would appear crisp and very sharp..

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1Mark. like most kids who are blown over in a windstorm,  wanted to be a meteorologist right after that.   Its pretty traumatic and life changing when you’re blown over by wind.    CMP’s life was traumatized and changed forever when it snowed a few inches in the San Fernando Valley of southern California when he was six year’s old.  Not sure you’ll find this information in the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders #5, however, but its a well-known phenomenon in the weather subculture.