An unusual sight yesterday: bulging dawn Cumulus fronted by fog. These Cumulus (not spawned by ground currents) suggest instability aloft, a rapid decline in temperatures with increasing height, which allows the buoyancy of “warmish air” in-cloud surrounded by cooler air to go up, whilst fog1 suggests the opposite; cold, damp, heavy air that can’t go anywhere but down, slip sliding away as it did yesterday because its topped by warmer air, a atmospheric “glass ceiling”. Ground fog like this is colder air that you can see.
Here in Catalinaland, this kind of layering of cold air, as most of you know, is endemic on clear nights. Those who drive down across the CDO wash from Sutherland Heights or along Lago del Oro from the surrounding higher terrain know. Because of the stupefying amounts of rain in the past three days, the air is damp enough at ground level to form fog and you can see whose colder at night than you are IF you are above it. Also, anyone who walks their dog in the morning passed innocuous looking gullies, is aware of how cold air flows downhill and collects in low places.
The lack of density of this fog indicated that it formed in real clean air, air that didn’t have a lot of junk in it (which would also contain a lot of CCN, cloud condensation nuclei. Pretty hard to get fogs like we had in Bakersfield, CA.
Once things warmed up some, and with Arctic like air up top, Cumulus arose, a couple of which sprouted icy tops and shafts, namely, became small Cumulonimbus clouds, tops around 20-25 kft. Along with these clouds, there was a treasure of sunny highlights and shadows moving across the Catalinas. Here you go:
Below, one of the attributes of our partly cloudy days and low near-winter sun angle; pretty lighting:
The weather way ahead, first week in December.
Pile of cold air to drive into West Coast and Rockies during the first week in December. Snow even possible here, the air is that cold, but mainly the cold air will likely lead to the first cold spell where temps drop significantly below freezing. The worst days look like the 5th and 6th right now, after the threat of rain and or snow pass. So, if you have an evap cooler, you’ll definitely want to have it drained before then if you haven’t already taken care of it (like me).
Rain threat at the end of the month/first day or so in December is fading some in mods, but I refuse to give up on it!
1Fog is “gof” spelled backwards, BTW. Has a lot of meanings and I avoided the obvious juvenile approach (today), “Think I’ll go goffing today” which I wouldn’t say anyway because I don’t play gof.