Lost control for awhile yesterday evening at sunset as pretty little pileus caps formed repeatedly on top of new Cumulus congestus/Cumulonimbus turrets to the west. It like an entomologist seeing a spotted owl, or some other rare bird like that. You don’t see pileus caps that often, and when you do, you’d better have your camera ready because they only last seconds. Nice sunset color along with them, too. Some nice lightning over that way later, too.
If you were in a research aircraft and wanted to find the most liquid water around at a particular flight level, a pileus cap on a Cumulus turret at that level is a good sign that that’s where it will be compared to other clouds. But don’t sample too close to cloud top, maybe 100 m below since dry, ambient air is being mixed into the extreme top and you MIGHT not measure the most liquid water there, especially if the top looks a little “frizzy.” . Its fun to see how much you can hit with an airplane; see what the instruments do.
The rest of the day was very nice before this pretty much replicated the day before in virtually every detail; several Cumulonimbus clouds arose on Ms. Lemmon beginning in mid-afternoon, anvils trailed over Oro Valley, and there were again a number of distant Cumulonimbus clouds to the NW-NE scattered over the high terrain way up that way. There were also Cumulonimbus far to the S-SW toward Mexico, as well as an active cluster to the west at sunset that generated so many pileus clouds. Here is your cloud diary day in photos:
The clouds prior to the pileus eruptions were these ones:
Want to get one more thing in here, in case you haven’t paid attention to all the rain that’s been falling in Arizona, particularly in the NW part, SE CA, and southern Nevada. They are having a spell that is just incredible. Here, from WSI Intellicast, the 7-day rainfall totals for the US, which highlights how well those areas are doing compared to the rest of the county even. This is an amazing graphic, and so pleasing since all this rain in the Southwest has been falling on very drought-impacted areas.
Summer rain season set to sputter along today and for the foreseeable future. Looks like there will be a few more thunderheads around today compared to yesterday, a bit more instability today, too, this from a 2 min look at model outputs as choke time approaches. If you want a good forecast, you should see Bob’s writeup. I like Bob. Plus, he’s a stupendous expert on convection!