Drama queens

Quite  happy early on yesterday with Cu sprouting upward rapidly in the mid-morning,  then it ended up being a sad day for us yesterday with only a trace.  It appeared, with the early generation of towering Cumulus over the Cat Mountains, then thunder just before noon, that we were going to have a good chance of a big dump, a land-filling rainstorm, to make a play on the word “dump.”

But no.


Next, in a continuation of negative thoughts, I propose a spending cap on college athletics.  Here’s why from the NYT, no less1.   In the short of it: the Duck has more money to spend than the Dawg, and, as a former employee of the University of Washington, I am upset.  Yes  I am THAT great a former employee.  Even when working at the U of WA full time, I advertised the company teams AFTER working hours by wearing this and that with Dawg logos, that’s how good an employee I was.

But Oregon has crossed the line; its got to stop.  Think of the poor AZ Wildcats, too, if you’re so inclined.  The only worse thing that could happen is for the University of Phoenix, with all their money, to start a football program and join the Pac 12 after the WAZU Cougars drop out because they are so bad.  (The Cougars ARE really bad, to get an in-state rival Dawg dig in.  hahahaha, Cougs.


Now, some clouds, real drama queens, but still pretty darn photogenic:

11:25 AM.  Cu pile up beyond the Gap.
11:25 AM. Cu pile up nicely beyond the Gap.  Note pileus clouds atop Cu left and distant right, a sign of good updrafts.  I like pileus clouds.
11:36 AM. While these two Cumulus clouds became marshmallows, the first ice (fibrous area, upper left) begins to show.



11:49 AM. Rain shaft begins to show, first thunder a few minutes later.


1:55 PM. With flow from the south, I was ecstatic at this point. Why? The big rain shaft to the south. Oh, no, too late for that one to be anything when it gets here. But, those Cu building over Pusch Ridge, they’re what needed to fire up and keep this complex going, and they are looking GREAT at this point, no doubt pushed up by the outflow winds of the rain just behind them. But it gets better….


2:18 PM. Heading upward into euphoria from ecstaticness (is that a word?) here as Cu congestus bases enlarge, don’t seem to have weak points in the center suggesting irregular updrafts. Its going to rain from them soon, no doubt it. And it did. But….not that much.  Rain shaft behind and to the right, already thinning at this time.

So with all the drama shown above, here’s what ensued from that great looking base, demonstrating that you can only be “mostly be sure, but not all sure”, to paraphrase a Billy Crystal line in “The Princess Bride.”

3:02 PM.  The pitiful rain shaft on Samaniego Ridge that eventually emitted from that great looking base.  Little baby rain was falling here at the time.  Traced is all.
3:02 PM. The pitiful “rain shaft”, if I may so elevate such light rain,  on Samaniego Ridge, the outpouring of precip  that eventuated from that great looking base. Little baby rain was falling here at the time. Traced is all it did.


What happened?  The intensity of the shaft tells you how high the tops of those really dark bases got, and in this case, probably they probably got no higher than the marshmallow clouds shown above with their equally weak shafts.  Not much rain, either, in the Catalinas.

Why didn’t the tops get higher?

The outflow shove wasn’t enough to jack them up, the air just a bit too cool feeding into the bases, weakening outflow winds.  You can make up a lot of stuff.  But, darn, it looked SO GOOD there for a moment.

Today?  Well, the same scenario replayed over and over again it seems.  Likely Cu building on the Cat Mountains again, probably not as early a start as yesterday–TUS sounding’s a little drier.  I should see what Bob sez, since he really knows stuff.


1 Sent to me by a science prize-winning friend2 with whom I shared Husky season ticks with.  It was interesting since I got a minimal science prize of sorts, too.  The headline:  “Prize-winning meteorologists attend college football games together.”  Kind of an unexpected scenario I would think.

2 Got his prize, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and congratulations from Al Gore at the White House back in ’00 or so.  (Can you put a footnote in a footnote?)