“Gutter ball”

Like an errant bowling ball (you remember bowling, don’t you?), the models are now pretty much in agreement that instead a “strike”, or at least a “spare”, or even a few “pins” being knocked down here in Catalina, by our approaching,  spinning “ball” of low pressure, it is now foreseen to end up as a “gutter ball”, bypassing the “lane” entirely and heading off to to coast of southern Mexico, the way the Canadian forecast model had been saying all along.  The US model had rain here for days on end, and it passed much closer to us.  But not now.   Below is the latest awful depiction from IPS Meteostar if you haven’t seen it yourself, one valid for Wednesday evening at 11 PM AST:

This is one of the worst forecast maps I have ever seen.  You can see where the low ends up, over Cabo!

I felt I had to prepare you mentally since no models I can find out there have any rain here with that system now.  And there is no rain seen in the next 15 days in the US WRF-GFS model, either!  So La Nina!

This is an odd configuration down there off Mexico, too.  This is normally the dry season in central and southern Mexico, so some Mazatlanians and Puerto Vallartans are going to get quite the winter surprise down there in a couple of days. It would be fun to go down there and see the surprise on the faces of vacationers and locals when this thing hits, to see, really how weather impacts people.  As a meteorologist, I feel much more important when important weather strikes.  People want to talk to you then and ask things; “How long is this going to last?”  “Have you ever seen this happen before?”  You’re really kind of the focal point of everyone’s life then.  You’ve probably noticed how excited TEEVEE weather presenters get when weather is the lead in the news, with that kind of haughty smile, or pretending to be sad, because a hurricane just hit, or six feet of snow fell somewhere.

But when important weather hits, they become the stars of the news programs, and maybe “stars” for a couple of days!  Yes, that’s what we weathermen and women like, odd weather, NOT normal weather where we have to think of “happy talk” and jokes and things to say to our fellow anchors instead of talking about something important. I have to say I am a part of that weather culture, too.  But with no storm at hand, I will not be so important to my friends today1.

Yesterday’s iridescent clouds, in case you missed them

Iridescent clouds are ones with especially tiny droplets that produce rainbow colors because the light is diffracted around the drops, and in doing so the white light from the sun is broken up into into its various wavelengths and colors that go with them (reddish, longer wavelengths, bluish, shorter wavelengths.  For a nice explanation and spectacular examples, go here.  Yesterday’s iridescence appeared yesterday in newly formed Cirrocumulus clouds.




Revealing personal note——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-1This whole “storm-now-missing-us” thing and loss of importance reminds, too, of John Denver, and when he died in that plane crash.  In those days before that happened, people used to say I looked like John Denver or thought I was John Denver, strangers even, and maybe I cultivated that look to make myself seem more important than I really was.   It was great having a stranger want to talk to me, often a woman as it turned out.  But then when John Denver died, I was sad, not for John or anything like that, though I did like some of his songs, but because I knew I pretty soon people would not ask me if I was John Denver and want my autograph, as happened in a Durango, Colorado, supermarket where I lived.  I was pretty bummed out back then, really, and that’s the way I feel about this “gutter ball” thing today.  Below, me as “John Denver.”  BTW, mom liked to be “Marilyn Monroe” so that she would seem more important, so this is kind of a family culture we Rangnos have to boost our self-esteems.  It really helps when you’re only a weatherman or other ordinary person to be somebody famous!  There was a guy just last night at the Fox Theatre here in Tucson pretending to be former Beatle, John Lennon!  I’ll bet he felt great because it was just like John Lennon actually being there!













By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.