But first, “storm” 3 of six as foretold many days ago by our wonderful numerical models having “billions and billions and billions” of calculations (to use a numeric phrase made popular by the late Carl Sagan) is going to pass over today. Hoping for a sprinkle late in the day, but virga seems likely in the Altocumulus clouds that will develop/move in today.
The jet stream is powerful over us from the southwest, and when you have these weaker disturbances with marginal moisture, you can get some glorious, fine granulations in the clouds (Cirrocumulus to be exact) as we saw two days ago. See photo below. So, I am expecting to see the following types of clouds today: Altocumulus with virga, some clusters large enough to produce a sprinkle even at the ground (see second photo from two days ago with “mammatus”-see footnote below and virga), Cirrocumulus, and some cirrus. Could be a fabulous sunset with these kinds of clouds around.
OK, so “storm” 3 today may be just a few clouds without any precip. Oh, well.
Cold and unusual snow occurrences ahead for the West and for Cat Land, too
The low pressure center and accompanying Arctic blast now developing in the Pacific Northwest will be historic. What I mean is the that climate record books will be altered for things like late snow occurrences, one of the lastest snow occurrences (as in Seattle), latest lowest temperatures, all time February low temperatures, and unusual flurries and brief snow accumulations at anytime in places in California. This is a whopper of an atmospheric ice berg from the ground all the way up through the troposphere in the West as it progresses down the West Coast. Snowfall at SEA LEVEL is likely all the way down to….Los Angeles suburbs.
Then after shuttling down the coast, this “ice berg” takes a sharp right turn (as seen from the weather maps), that is, toward the east and to Arizona! Egad. Not only will it be unusually cold again, though nowwhere near the “historic” cold wave early this February when all kinds of low temperature records and pipes were busted, though another hard freeze does seem in the cards after the rain/snow/wind pass by. Monday and Tuesday mornings look awful darn cold right now.
Did I mention wind? Along with this situation will be an unusually strong low pressure center that will give us the kind of blustery day this Saturday as we had last Saturday with gust to 50 mph here on the Catalina Rise just west of the Cat Mountains. So, if you’ve got dried out, stiff palm fronds you’ll probably lose a few more in this one.
Did I mention snow? Its now looking like a greater chance for a small accumulation of snow as low as 3,000 feet here on the west side of the Catalinas on Sunday morning. I’m not buying skis just yet, but this is a real interesting situation.
And, finally, it looks like an appreciable rain, too, with this, maybe more than half an inch between later Saturday and Sunday night. Man, will this be welcomed around here!
Since I am overly excited about this interesting weather pattern that is on our doorstep, it should be noted that objectivity is in decline… At the Unviersity of Washington we had a forecaster who loved snowstorms. And so, when he saw a snowstorm coming and forecast an amount, say 10 inches, you had to divide that forecast by 100 to get the most snow that could possibly fall from that storm.
Footnote: On the fifth floor of the Atmospherics Science Building at the University of Washington, there was a line of large cloud photos on the wall, one of which was a “Cumulonimbus mammatus” that strongly resembled the “mammatus” in the second photo below. The photo caption to that effect was vandalized, and we suspect by a female meteorologist/grad student who might have taken exception to this traditional, formal descriptor established decades ago. The word “mammatus” was crossed out and replaced by “testicularis.” It was horrible thing to see.