Smoke and mirrors in the models; fire in the sky

For those of you who have forgotten that heavy metal pioneering band, Deep Purple, and their hit, “Smoke on the Water”, to which this post sort of alludes to, straining really, take this.    It was kind of fun to see this “songumentary”, because it was about something that really happened.  In a line out of Spinal Tap, the parody heavy metal band, one review considered Deep Purple, “the globe’s loudest band.”  How funny!

Here’s the “fire in the sky” at sunrise yesterday, and in case you missed it.  Fabulous blaze of fire underlighting those Altostrastus clouds with their snow virga.

Then, in the afternoon, we had these sky gems; Altocumulus clouds, mostly of the floccus and castellanus varieties, some shedding ice in what up there would have felt like snow flurries.  For those three of you who follow this page, you can guess immediately how cold those ice-shedding Altocumulus clouds were:  colder than -10 C, and probably colder than -15 C without even looking at a temperature sounding.

The weather ahead; discouraging.

The models have been gradually reducing the chances of rain since the last blog about rain ahead, and when they do show rain on or around February 7th, its been reduced from what was once going to be a substantial period of rain to a minor event.  Hence, the models have truly come up with “smoke and mirrors”; looks real but its not.


By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.