“Cloudy”

“Cloudy/The sky will be gray and white and clou–oooowww–deee.”

If you don’t remember the 60s and songs about weather, a silly reprise of that Simon and Garfunkel song here.  If S&G had been weather forecasters, they might have written satisfying lines like the one above for today.

At times today, with all the virga around, it might really look like its,  “hanging down on me” as the two depressed boys sing in that song as waves of thick middle and high clouds eject northeastward over Catalina from the tropical Pacific.  Looks like the heart of the upper level disturbance and its main rain shield will pass Friday night into Saturday, with a break in rain on Sunday, then rain again on Monday into Tuesday as the cold punch of this storm sequence rattles down from the north Pacific Coast.   Great news, but not new news to anyone paying much attention to our local weather forecasts.

Catalina seems destined to get a good dumping from the two combined (the warm one, then the cold one), likely to exceed a half an inch, and boy, do we need it.  Nothing after this in rain, the mods say (for now).

As a note in passing, the droughty Plains States don’t get so much relief from this system now as the models have faster movement of the storm through that region than they had a few days ago when it was part of a “trillion dollar” beneficial storm sequence across the country. That faster movement of the storm has been repeated in the mods now over and over.  Faster movement equals less rain, less time for humid air from the Gulf of Mexico to race northward and be ingested into the low center that forms in the Plains States in a few days.  I actually feel kind of sad seeing that change happen and hope its dead wrong.  “Dang”, as we would say.

Yesterday’s clouds

Here are some shots of those great Cirrus clumps and formations yesterday some of which were exceptional because of the instability up there, that is, how tall and Cumulus-looking some of the Cirrus castellanus turrets got, biggest I’ve seen.  You can reprise the whole day here, from the U of AZ.  First, a shot of the great sunrise.

In the AZ movie, you will also see these brighter flecks appear, brighter because they have smaller, more numerous particles in them when they first form compared to even minutes later as they disperse.  The behavior of CIrrus forming like this is like a puff of smoke that suddenly appears in the sky, but no more smoke is added.  As happens with these Cirrus flecks, the smoke would gradually disperses and thins after a thick beginning.

Later in the movie, you’ll see the “convective” Cirrus we call castellanus go by, producing a little virga.  Another oddity, is that some Cirrus uncinus trails go by with the streamers of ice that are falling out, go faster than the higher tuft from which they fell from, indicating a wind speed increase as you go down, a little unusual at that level.

So, lots to see in this time lapse movie.

7:18 AM.  New flecks of Cirrus floccus-later to be Cirrus uncinus form beyond Pusch Ridge.  Lower Ci Spissatus in the distance.
7:18 AM. New flecks of Cirrus floccus-later to be Cirrus uncinus–form beyond Pusch Ridge. Lower Ci Spissatus in the distance.
1:42 PM.  Cirrus castellanus slightly below Cirrus spissatus clumps--Altostratus as a name would be OK, too.
1:42 PM. Here, continuing with the innovative “gritty-not-pretty” photo style: “Cirrus castellanus slightly below Cirrus spissatus, both above parking area and partially occupied buildings.”  $525

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2:13 PM.  Giant Cirrus castellanus turret springs from Cirrus streak.  When they're flattish, you'd call them Cirrus spissatus.  If in more of a sky covering layer, sans breaks, Altostratus, not Cirrus, because of the shading.  ONLY Ci spissatus can have shading and still be termed Cirrus.
2:13 PM. Giant Cirrus castellanus turret springs from Cirrus streak. When they’re flattish, you’d call them Cirrus spissatus. If in more of a sky covering layer, sans breaks, Altostratus, not Cirrus, because of the shading. ONLY Ci spissatus can have shading and still be termed Cirrus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SONY DSC
3:48 PM. Mostly Cirrus spissatus (dense Cirrus).

 

3:48 PM.  Just pretty Cirrus.
3:48 PM. Just pretty Cirrus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:40 PM.  Not great, but there was a knife-edge leading edge of an Altocumulus bank on the far horizon that added some drama to it.  Note Ci uncinus, too.
5:40 PM. Not a great sunset, as was hoped for, but there was a knife-edge leading edge of an Altocumulus bank on the far horizon that added some drama to it. Note Ci uncinus, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch for a sunrise color bloom this morning.  Might happen, though coverage would appear to be a bit too much right now.  And with so many clouds around, a good chance of a great one this evening.  Charge camera battery.

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1There’s get a modicum of applause at the end of this video; no one really wanted to hear S&G play THAT song:  “Why didn’t they play something good?”  And,  “Why are their heads floating around in the clouds?”