In case you missed it; these clouds and a trace of rain (!)

Once again we were treated to a spectacular sunset, another one in a long series of occasional sunset spectacles, ones that probably go back before the 1900s. We didin’t have color film in the 1800s, so we can’t be for sure if there were spectacular sunsets here except via artist’s renderings, of necessity, of course, analog ones  comprised of subjective estimates of sunset colors being seen, not the real ones.   I you would like to read about clouds in paintings over the centuries, go here and here.   In this second link, you will find that Leonardo da Vinci was quite interested in Cumulonimbus downbursts gave painting them a shot.  Its not that great, to be honest.

We meteorologists often sadly ruminate on the career of Leonardo, thinking that had he only turned his attention away from art, sculpting and the like, and instead turned to the problem of weather forecasting, how much farther ahead we would be today.  A real shame.  Maybe we wouldn’t be relying on spaghetti plots so much.

Also got a trace of rain here in Catalina–you could sure get that smell of rain as soon as you went outside this morning.

5:25 PM. Altocumulus opacus under lit by the setting sun. Altostratus clouds were above that layer.

We also had some real interesting mottled-looking skies yesterday due to Altocumulus underneath a layer of Altostratus translucidus. Those underlying Altocumulus clouds were in a layer with a lot of instability (temperature dropped rapidly with height in it) and so there were many little spires (castellanus and floccus varieties). This happens because a little bit of warmth is added to the air when moisture condenses in it, and that bit of warmth was able to drift upward. As that happens the air around those little cells of updrafts settles downward gently to take the place of the rising air creating voids. So, you get clear air spaces between the little cloudlets. I think that’s what happened here.

3:10 PM. Altocumulus castellanus and floccus invade sky under Altostratus translucidus (thinner version).

Let see, what else is going on…. Most of that plume of moisture from the tropics is gone, and so only expect a few Cumulus today.    Oh, yeah, big storm about to slam northern Cal and Oregon. Take a look at this map series from the Washington Huskies to get an idea of how its growing in size before hitting the coast.

No rain predicted here in past two model runs (last evening and last night, 06 Z) for the next 15 days, but we are quite sure that’s wrong.  Will be looking for that end November early December rain to reappear because I have a subjective hunch it will.  If it doesn’t reappear, I will likely pretend I never said anything about it, in keeping with long tradition in public weather forecasting.

BTW, and belaboring the point a bit, here’s an example of how errors in public forecasting SHOULD be handled;  “right up front”, in this case, an anonymous Seattle forecaster addresses the terrible temperature forecast he made the previous day following day:

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(It was a fun time….hope you get a smile out of it)

The End.