Pretty castellanus

5:29 AM.  Ac floccus and castellanus with virga.  Cloud bases (sans virga) were at -10 C (14 F) yesterday.
5:29 AM. Ac floccus and castellanus with virga. Cloud bases (sans virga) were at -10 C (14 F) yesterday.

Along with Altocumulus  “floccus1”  as well,  many with ice virga.   Some clumps got so enthusiastic that they went into sizes that we really can’t name, too large to be Altocumulus elements, and too small to  be what we normally would call Cumulus or Cumulonimbus.  Here are some more examples of yesterday’s clouds:

5:49 AM.  ?????  Mostly glaciated, though little virga shows out the bottom.
5:49 AM. ????? Mostly glaciated, though little virga is coming out the bottom.

 

6:14 AM.  "Micro-cumulonimbus"???  Its got all the ingredients, little anvil. fully glaciated here, and a few drops fell all the way from 13,000 feet about the ground.
6:14 AM. “Micro-cumulonimbus”??? Its got all the ingredients, little anvil. fully glaciated here, and a few drops fell all the way from 13,000 feet above the ground, but there is no real shaft something you like to see when you call a cloud a Cumulonimbus,  Highest tops above 30,000 feet, colder than -40 C (-40 F).

 

6:22 AM.  Off to the south, this classic example of regular Altocumulus castellanus and floccus.  So pretty.
6:22 AM. Off to the south, this classic example of regular Altocumulus castellanus and floccus. So pretty.  Note ice plumage beyond Pusch Ridge.

 

6:53 AM.  Lesson.  Some liquid water drops reach the highest, coldest point in this buildup. On the right, they're all gone, only ice remains.  The droplet part is brighter because the droplets are smaller and reflect more of the sun's light than do the larger ice crystals.
6:53 AM. Some liquid water drops reach the highest, coldest point in this buildup;  that brighter part peaking out on the left. On the right, and at the top, the droplets that were present earlier in this part of the cloud have all evaporated; only ice remains (except in those partly shaded cloud rags). The droplet part is brighter because the droplets are smaller, they’re are more of them,  and reflect more of the sun’s light than do the larger ice crystals at the top.

 

Taking a bite out of drought in the Plains States

Here the Drought Monitor for May 7th.  Looks pretty bad in the central and southern Plains States and the central and southern Rockies.  20130507_drmon

But here’s what’s happened according to WSI’s radar-derived rain totals over the 7 days ending since this map.  Makes you fell that bit better for our drought-stricken brothers even if we didn’t get anything.  And it looks like rains will continue off and on in droughty Plains areas now for another two weeks.  Excellent.  Nothing in sight here, sadly.

The 7-day rainfall totals ending on May 14, 2013.
The 7-day rainfall totals ending on May 14, 2013.

 

The End  (still putting life together after moving; posts will be a bit sparse).

 

 

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1“Floccus” has a ragged or lofted base, one higher than the other ones around.