Nice examples of Stratocumulus again yesterday; storms on deck

It’s been very “West Coasty in the spring” here lately.  Cool days, 70s, with do-nothing Stratocumulus splotches all over.  I couldn’t take it anymore in SEA, and bailed largely due to the dominance of Stratocumulus as a cloud type there.  Yes, I would be termed a “stratophobe.”  A lot of us refugees from the West Coast suffer from “latent stratophobia”, and aren’t really running from crime, smog, traffic congestion, or high prices on the West Coast.  You can only take so much strato, and I know many of you out there are reaching your limit here as well.  You’ve seen enough “June gloom” days throughout the year.

I hate to punish you with more photos of Stratocumulus clouds, but to document yesterday, it has to be done.  Concentrate on the scenery below the Stratocumulus in the following photos as a way of calming down.  Fortunately today we should see only small Cu, and little Stratocu.

However, early on, those with expert cloud-maven eyes probably noticed the development, if briefly, of shallow Cumulonimbus clouds to our north.  Tops really didn’t  protrude much above the overall tops of ugh, must I say it again, those Stratocumulus clouds so prevalent elsewhere.  Of course, there were some Cumulus, too, most underneath the spreading layer of ugh, Stratocumulus.   Hmmm.  I like that;  “Ugh Stratocumulus.”  Everyone would know instantly what that cloud type is!  Low, gray, lumpy; nothing really redeeming about it.  I’ll try to work around the shots of Stratocu as much as I can.

Yesterday’s clouds

6:00 AM. Tops of residual Cumulonimbus clouds, still going after the prior evening's thunderstorm, poke up above Altocumulus castellanus clouds
6:00 AM. Tops of weak, residual Cumulonimbus clouds, still going after the prior evening’s thunderstorm, poke up above Altocumulus castellanus clouds
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9:23 AM. Cumulus piled up early over the Catalinas, but tops hit a strong stable layer and were already spreading out here fortelling the kind of day it would likely be. Didn’t get as warm as expected, either, which helped keep the cloud flatter, too.
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11:30 AM. Light rain showers developed to the north from shallow Cumulonimbus clouds (above horizon, center and right), but hardly deemable as those by most folks. Could be labeled “Ugh Stratocumulus praecipitatio”, too, I guess.
11:30 AM. Light rain showers developed to the N about this time, raising hopes that showers might develop over the Catalinas, too.
11:30 AM. Light rain showers developed to the N about this time, raising hopes that showers might develop over the Catalinas, too.
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11:30 AM. Zooming for ice. Yep, though barely detectable with confidence.
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11:30 AM. Backing off a little for more perspective; ice a little more evident in the soft mushy look of those turrets. In some cases the updrafts, as in this case, are so weak, that the heavier ice particles have a tough time staying at cloud top as in cases like this.
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11:30 AM. Looking a little more to the right for icy tops. Can you make them out? You will get quite a commendation at the next club meeting if you can.
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12:16 PM. Showers all over. Not to the spreading tops of Cu and Stratocu that produced so much cloud cover, but were too warm to form ice any longer. Very Seattle spring look here. Nicely formed Cumulus bases with tops that go nowhere.
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3:46 PM. Skipping over a lot of time and the same kinds of clouds are shown in the prior photo; just another shot here to show you nothing has changed.
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5:35 PM. Big dark stretches of Stratocumulus clouds are still lurking over Catalina and environs.
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6:39 PM. Stratocumulus clouds dissipating now, holes in the sky allow interesting shadow and light patterns.
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7:04 PM. Not a great sunset, but not a bad one, either, as the last remnant of Stratocu clouds fades away into the night.

The weather ahead

From IPS MeteoStar’s rendering of our WRF-GFS model output, this:

Valid on Friday, May 6th, 11 AM AST. Quite the Big Mama trough drifts toward us. Its this kind of situation that southern and central Cal get hail, TSTMs, and even a weak tornado. This situation goes on for a few days. For us, we're on the cusp of rain, according to our best model. But, still hanging solidly at this keyboard that a decent, measurable rain (0.25 inches or more) will occur in Catalina during the passage of this behemoth trough. This map looks promising. The jet at this level has gone by, and "rain follows the jet", more or less here.
Valid on Friday, May 6th, 11 AM AST. Quite the Big Mama trough drifts toward us. Its this kind of situation that southern and central Cal get hail, TSTMs, and even a weak tornado. This situation goes on for a few days. For us, we’re on the cusp of rain, according to our best model. But, still hanging solidly at this keyboard that a decent, measurable rain (0.25 inches or more) will occur in Catalina during the passage of this behemoth trough. This map looks promising. The jet at this level has gone by, and “rain follows the jet”, more than less here in the cool season.

More troughs pummel the SW into mid-May, but other than bringing fluctuating temperatures and wind, look a bit on the dry side.  Dang.

The End.

2 thoughts on “Nice examples of Stratocumulus again yesterday; storms on deck”

  1. Wow! TSTMs in Vancouver, CAN Now there’s rarity.
    WHAT is happening to our climate?

    a

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