Got up a little late (4:06 AM), got behind, feeling kind of lazy, and then started thinking about Heathkit, Benton Harbor, MI.  Perhaps you, too, had put one of their electronic kits together, ones that smoked after you plugged it in, like me.  Oh, yeah.  That was exciting!  Perhaps I could do a “Weathkit” in the modern era.  You would order it, being interested in weather and clouds as you are, and it would come in something like a shoebox, but then there would only be a thumb drive in it with a bunch of links for you to assemble your own weather forecast.

At first, of course, you’d be upset because you paid me so much for a thumb drive and complain that the packaging was overdone, misleading.  And then on the thumb drive there would be, say, several links.  They would be tuned, of course, from the region from which you ordered, except maybe one which would be a more general, global  link in case you wanted to check the weather in world trouble spots.  Lastly, there would be one to help you with the “final product” in case you bungled the whole thing like I did with my many Heathkits.

The links wouldn’t be labeled because that would be part of the joy of assembling your own weather forecast from them.  You’d be so excited just to click on each one and see what it was, some of the fun and appeal of “Weathkit.”  A prototype is shown below.  Let me know how much you would pay for these on a 1 GB thumb drive….










Thanks; your opinion is important to us here at WeathKit (pronounced “weth-kit”, NOT “weeeeth-kit”, dammitall!)


Got a trace of rain yesterday afternoon just after noon as a matter of fact, as Cu congestus piled up over the Cat Mountains and drifted over Catalina from the ENE.  The day started much more promising than it ended up since cloud bases had lowered substantially from the prior day and were now just above the top of Ms. Lemmon.  Rain had not been predicted at all the previous day and so the occurrence of even a trace was a bit of a model fumble, a flub.  And, if you looked around, MUCH heavier showers were nearby.

12:01 PM. Nice cloud street streams directly overhead giving promise of a shower.
12:02 PM. Twin towers show further indications that the cloudy air was going to reach great heights yesterday.
12:19 PM. Its raining from this, pretty early for a rain shower. Maybe we’ll have something great later on!
2:49 PM. Large, but sloping Cumulonimbus calvus forms N of Catalina, top bubble is just now beginning to show the transformation to ice. No rainshaft yet.
12:49. Closeup of that glaciating Cb calvus top. “Calvus” means “bald”, BTW.
2:55 Pm. Its got the big shaft now, but the sloped aspect says this Cb has pretty weak updrafts in it and may not last long. Remember when we used to see these weak Cumulonimbus clouds and sing, “Hang on, slopey, slopey, hang on, da-dum-da-dum-da-dum”, because we knew ones like this probably wouldn’t last?
5:58 AM today! Here’s your sunrise photo, Altocumulus perlucidus, in case you were too lazy to get up and see it. Now, get going on your forecast…

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.