Long distance Cumulonimbus top; cloud review for yesterday, and, big day tomorrow?

The only good Cumulonimbus (Cb) clouds seem to be occurring north of Golder Ranch Drive, about a 100 miles north. which of course, astronomically speaking is actually quite close.  Yesterday, with no intervening clouds, it was another chance to see how far can you see the top of a Cb, then use the NWS radar to place it.  The Cb top, with an arrow pointing to it in the first photo, is followed by a zoomed shot.  The radar indicates that lone, very tall cell was about 10 miles SE of Kingman, or more than 150 miles away!  It was common in South Dakota, working with radar in Mitchell and Parkston, to see Cb tops and anvils on the horizon that the radar was unable to see, partly because the radar beam is pointed slightly upward to minimize “ground clutter” as seen in the radar image below around PHX.

7:12 PM
7:12 PM
7:20 PM NWS radar mosaic rendered by the U of AZ.

Review of yesterday; another quiet day (Ed. Note: Getting tired of quiet days)

Yesterday was almost exactly like the day before, with a brief period of glaciating cloud in the same spot beyond the Charoleau Gap from Catalina as the day before. Here are a few representative shots of yesterday.

Can you pick out the icy top in that one little glaciating Cb? Its a little harder to detect this time compared with yesterday.

6:51 Cirrus for breakfast.
10:31 AM. Small Cumulus over the Catalinas by brunch time.
2:48 PM. Cumulus are really kind of in a post-lunch nap; inactive, not doing anything. It was pretty disappointing to watch all of this inactivity, lack of sprouts, into mid-afternoon.


4:03 PM. What’s this? Some bulk. Is that ice in those tops? I know, but do YOU?  Means some rain fell out the bottom.








I feel uncomfortable labeling this little mush of cloud a “Cumulonimbus”, maybe “Cb calvus”,  because the fibrous nature of the ice is not yet obvious.

Still it has the attributes of a Cumulonimbus, glaciating top, precip out the bottom, though we can’t see it here.  It will produce a radar echo like the little Cb the day before. What we really need, to editorialize some, are categories for these situations like “Cumulonimbus humilis”, “Cumulonimbus mediocris” so that we know that we have miniature versions of those clouds.

We do have, though I avoid it, a category of “Cumulus congestus praecipitatio”, because visual examples, as shown in the last (1987) World Meteorological Atlas, cannot be differentiated from Cumulonimbus clouds, at least, not by me!


The weather ahead

“Quiet time” is coming to an end, not today so much, the computers say, but tomorrow, oh my, could be huge!

Check it out here, courtesy of our U of AZ weather program and their massive Beowulf Cluster of computers.

The End