This just in! Well….I didn’t see it until just now, so its kind of “just in”, the input domain smaller than one usually thinks of when you hear the phrase, “this just in!”
Please begin reading at the second paragraph, which discusses prejudice. It seems some people were carelessly calling Arizona a desert!
Checking your cloud log book for yesterday
My attention began to drift toward a fattening Cumulus cloud beyond Charoleau Gap. After days of Cumulus humilis and mediocris, I was buoyed by the sight of a real congestus cloud there. Would it, could it, GLACIATE, get cold enough on top to form ice crystals and snow?
As you know, and I think the Beatles said it best (a boy group from Britain in the 1960s), in their famous anthem, ” All You Need is Ice”:
“All you need is ice, dah-ta-dah-ta-dah, all you need is ice, dah-ta-dah-ta-dah, all you need is ice, ice, , all you need is ice, etc, etc., etc. (it was a very repetitive song) Furthermore they claimed, “it’s easy.”
It was going to be a great song, scientifically speaking, in many ways, though we know that rain can form without ice at times. However, and I think the boys realized later, that its not always THAT easy (to make ice) when the freezing level is at 15,000 friggin’ feet, and the tops have to reach -10 to -15 C, or about 24,000 feet, as we had here yesterday.
Later, the “Beatles” (BTW, the British spelling of “beetles”, which I doubt many of the Ancient Ones out there knew before I posted that information here) realized, having long been interested in precipitation in their homeland, that the original lyrics were misleading. They decided to update the lyrics to something more accessible and commercially viable, changing “ice” to “love” soon after the first production. You can hear the revised song here.
However, If you replace “love” with the origiinal word, “ice”, it will help you understand the precipitation process here in “Arizony” better.
Where was I?
Oh, yeah, I began to see a ruffle in a Cumulus congestus cloud top that looked like it might be converting from supercooled water (water at below freezing temperatures that aircraft like to avoid) that MIGHT be converting to ice. Then after a few more minutes, much of the time having to talk with another human and missing the important transitional photo stage, it was completely iced-out, this meaning rain was falling out the bottom! Somebody got wet!
Now this was NOT a large Cumulonimbus cloud, but rather, for us, a “mediocris” but here it is. I wondered, in view of its small size and brief lifetime, how many of you logged this cloud? It could have easily been missed.
I am posting photos to help you fill in the correct and complete cloud observations for yesterday in your log books. There were also several forms of Cirrus above the small Cumulus clouds that were prevalent. I figure you were “all over” the Cirrus, but likely missed our little, and brief, Cb.
Here are a couple of cloud photos from yesterday, to check against your log of cloud observations, to help you make sure you got them all. I’ve added some “excitement captions” as well, ones with exclamation marks to kind of get you going.