What a gorgeous day yesterday was with deep blue skies dotted with Cumulus and one or two shallow Cumulonimbus, highlighted by our snow-capped Catalina Mountains. After the brief warm up, more storms ahead for Catalina!
10:23 AM. By this time Cumulus were popping up all over, and with the temperature at just 10,000 feet above sea level (7,000 feet above Catalina) cloud mavens everywhere were pretty sure ice would eventually form in lots of Cumulus.
10:24 AM. Shallow Cumulus congestus (left side) converting into an equally shallow Cumulonimbus capillatus (right half of cloud). This scene from a fairly primitive area of Arizona.
10:26 AM. Pretty scene over Saddlebrooke.
10:37 AM. Ice, there it is. Even shallow clouds spewed ice crystals and or small snowflakes (clusters of individual ice crystals.
Explanatory module below
The TUS balloon sounding, launched at about 3:30 AM yesterday morning from the campus of the University of Arizona Wildcats.
10:27 AM. Wintry scene #1, view toward the Charouleau Gap, and why do the French make spelling so hard?
11:04 AM. “Ice, there it is!”, to paraphrase a song from “In Living Color.”
11:12 AM. Wintry scene #2. View is toward the Charouleau Gap.
11:12 AM. Icy, but shallow Cumulonimbus cloud heads toward Catalina spewing a light rain shower and soft hail called “graupel.”
11:44 AM. Wintry scene #3.
12:32 PM. Not an advertisement for the University of Washington Huskies sports powerhouse, but rather a demonstration and graupel did, in fact, fall from our shallow Cumulonimbus clouds yesterday. BTW, the Washington Huskies play the NFL-ready, #1 Alabama Crimson Tide on New Year’s Eve at 1 PM AST in a fubbal playoff game. It would be great if you watched, raising viewer numbers, and possibly therein, the revenue stream flwoing into the University of Washington (from which I emanated). Oh, there appears to be a conical graupel there on the left. Graupel falling through a cloud of droplets often stays oriented with one face down, and that face collects all droplets that are freezing on it making that downward facing side, as you would imagine, bigger than the rear part, and so you get a pyramidal-shaped piece of soft ice. If it mainly tumbled on the way down through the cloud, it would be pretty spherical. That white streak on the right is one that’s falling.
11:12 AM. Another ice producing candidate forms in cloud street aligned with Catalina. Couple of drops is all that came out of this.
3:18 PM. Very shallow, ice-producing clouds. Few in the area had ice at this point in the afternoon, and a very tedious inspection of these clouds, comparing them with surrounding clouds, suggested that their tops were just a bit higher than the ones around it that did not spew a little ice.
The TUS balloon sounding launched at 3:30 PM AST, also with writing on it.
5:06 PM. Wintry scene #4 Pretty, eh?
5:32 PM. Stratocumulus with red liner. Nice.
After the brief warm up ahead, still looks “troughulent” and stormy in the SW as December closes out, continuing into January.