Having an effect after all; sunsets, clouds, and the weather ahead

I was driving down in Tucson yesterday, kind of moping around about all the blogs I had done with little or no interest. You may recall from a blog I did a few months ago I reported to my reader that a business site had evaluated the worth of my blog, and due to the amount of traffic it brought, it was found to be worth $25.

But then as I rounded Campbell and headed northbound from Fort Lowell, I saw this sign exhorting fellow Tucsonians to watch clouds! My mood brightened. Maybe there were a few out there that I had affected after all; a whole cloud watching movement had started!  I did see, however,  that since the sign maker was wondering whether there were clouds in the sky or not, and there was a lot of Cirrus overhead, I saw that I had more work to do.

This sign seen near Campbell and just north of Fort Lowell yesterday afternoon.

This sign seen near Campbell and just north of Fort Lowell yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday’s clouds

9:03 AM.  Cirrus fibratus in rolls, undulations due to waves in the atmosphere associated with the strong jet stream above us.

9:03 AM. Cirrus fibratus in rolls, undulations, due to waves in the atmosphere associated with the strong jet stream above us.

In case you were asleep, watching Monday night fubball, and NOT watching clouds, here is yesterday’s magnificent sunset as the sun underlit those dense Altostratus clouds that developed from thinner Cirrus ones during the afternoon and evening.

5:44 PM.
5:44 PM.


Today, more mid-level clouds and with strong winds aloft, we should see some lenticular clouds in the lee of the Catalinas.  Videoing them would be a good thing for you to do because you would, in fast playback, be able to see how they keep forming on the upwind side and disappearing on the downwind side while holding their overall position.  If the moisture increases, they expand, and if it decreases, they shrink and dry up, something likely to happen later in the day.

While that’s going on, there’ll likely be some Cumulus and Stratocumulus off to the north, and since the air is going to be much colder aloft to the north today, some ice is likely to form in them late in the day in those northern clouds, leading to some virga.  Those lower clouds, according to our models, should begin appearing around here, too, in the late afternoon and evening.  Alas, measurable rain is very unlikely, and with this, last little threat, October 2013 will go out rainless here in Catalinaland.


Farther ahead…..

More middle and high clouds and great sunrises and sunsets are likely on November 3rd and 4th as a little upper level trough creeps in from the lower latitudes of the Pacific off Mexico.  It was once projected by the models to bring rain to here, but now it seems only a sprinkle is possible; most of the tropical moisture shunted to the south and over northern Mexico.

In the longer term, while all “fantasy rain” has disappeared for AZ based on last evening’s 11 PM AST model run, stronger than normal storms are showing up for California later in the first week of November, and with that, we’ll always have the hope that this time, the “fantasy” in that model calculations is no rain shown for here.

The End, but enjoy those pretty clouds today!

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.