The cloud streets of Oro Valley

3:53 PM.  Three little rows of clouds are emitted from the Tortolita Mountains to the west, drift over Oro Valley.
3:53 PM. Three little rows of clouds are emitted from the Tortolita Mountains to the west, drift over Oro Valley.  These kinds of “streets” are there, and usually emit form the same spots, every time we have a moist, but shallow layer of air, and there’s a bit of wind.  We met men would call this situation a “cloud-capped boundary layer” where air rising to form these clouds doesn’t get any higher, usually due to a stable layer like an inversion.  The visual divergence, where one of the streets looks to be going to the left, and the one on the right going to the right,  is due to perspective.  Cloud streets are virtually parallel to one another.  The flow at cloud level was toward the photographer, me.  You got Cirrostratus on top of these Cumulus/Stratocumulus clouds.  (Where clouds like these are more isolated, we call them, Cumulus, when the same clouds group together into masses, we start calling them Stratocumulus.   Its kind of a fuzzy area in our fuzzy classification system (see Catalina cloud maven’s cloud classification article in the Encyclopedia of the Atmospheric Sciences, 6 vols., yours for $2258.20, “only one left in stock”, Amazon says, and the great Judy Curry, is Ed.–better get it before its gone!

 

5:03 PM.  That little zone on the Tortolitas is still pumping out the clouds.  Compare the back edge of this larger mass (which now would be Stratocumulus) with the origin point of the previous photo.  The cloud street is the one on the left that goes off the screen.
5:03 PM. That little zone (center, here) on the Tortolitas is still pumping out the clouds. Compare the back edge of this larger mass (which now would be Stratocumulus) with the origin point of the previous photo. The cloud street is the one on the left that goes off the screen.
5:32 PM.  That Cirrostratus steadily thickened as the afternoon wore on, almost making it look like another storm was moving in.   Cumulus filled in, too, becoming large areas of Stratocumulus, adding to the anticipation of a rain.
5:32 PM. That high Cirrostratus layer steadily thickened, becoming Altostratus here,  as the afternoon wore on.  Seemed like another storm was moving in.  Those isolated Cumulus clouds and their “streets” filled in, too, becoming large, dark areas of Stratocumulus, adding to the false anticipation of a rain as a storm skirted Arizona.

The weather way ahead after the upcoming heat wave

I have been staring at this weather Rorschach test for a few hours now, and there’s not much to say about it, except that there seems to be two eyeballs near the North Pole, and maybe one of the yellow lines forming a jaw down there toward Greenland, possibly a tilted drivers cap toward Russia.

Clearly the global patterns are “unsettled”, to use one of our favorite forecasting words.  (“We will have ‘unsettled’ weather over the next few days”, as one might say in Seattle most of the year.)

Below, “troughing” is suggested in the SW, but not much.  The Asian trough, anchored along the coast of Asia, is shown moving offshore here as it should during the spring, and that in turns helps form a trough downwind in the SW US, as we see happen in the spring over the long term (in climatology).   So we can only hang our hat on climo, that these uncertain times shown below in the plot below will resolve into something better than more drought.

We can also ponder the larger question of, “How’s come we can put a man on the moon and various space junk on Mars and can’t forecast the weather beyond about a week?”  Its crazy.

Or even the vastly larger question concerning chaos theory, a theory that rests on the phenomenon that small perturbations in the initial state of unstable systems are able to make huge changes over time, thus:

“Will a space probe, going off into deep space, as is happening now, an artifact that’s not supposed to be there, unsettle the unstable Universe?”

Valid for 1700 AST, March 17, 2014.
Valid for 1700 AST, March 17, 2014.

Pretty thoughtful blog today, I thought.  Usually don’t go this deep, but it just kind of happened.

The End, or is it?