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Cloud Photos


Walter John

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A few shots to kick off the new month and season..  Courtesy of a weak upper level low meandering over northern Mexico for the next few days and dragging a little moisture up from the south, and west from New Mexico. Has yielded a few showers/ storms for the mountains since Sunday, and might offer some sprinkles, maybe a few lightning strikes somewhere on this side of the valley Thursday night or Friday morning.. But only a 10-20% chance.  Not a monsoon- type set up, but perhaps the first solid, pre- season hint as we get closer to the start of it.. Heat is kicking things up a notch this week.. but still not too bad.

Mixed varieties of Cirro and Alto Cumulus/ Stratus as an outflow boundary in the mid levels of the atmosphere from dying storms up in the mountains earlier propagates west / southwest over the valley.  Too dry closer to the surface atm/ dew points wayy too low to coax these clouds to develop into something meaningful.

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A couple good reflections of  " Summer in the Sonoran Desert"  ..presented by a nice group of scrappy Alto Cumulus Castellanus near sunset.   The un- relenting heat,  dry dusty air,  ..and hope for rain, later on.    Welcome to Summer 2021.
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On 6/1/2021 at 10:49 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

A couple good reflections of  " Summer in the Sonoran Desert"  ..presented by a nice group of scrappy Alto Cumulus Castellanus near sunset.   The un- relenting heat,  dry dusty air,  ..and hope for rain, later on.    Welcome to Summer 2021.
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Absolutely amazing.

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Caught these storm clouds Thursday while driving down the interstate (no I wasn't the one driving).  20210603_095511.thumb.jpg.eaee5aae602b4552b057189f70c731aa.jpg

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I took these pictures this morning.  I like the color.20210604_064728.thumb.jpg.be05f4aefdd79503e521cf3b98abd3cf.jpg

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Quite  the cloud watching day today..  Hot, bone dry surface ( Dew point /humidity have been below 10% here ), and cold upper levels of the atmosphere combined to put on quite a show as a narrow plume of subtropical moisture moves north east from the far Eastern Pacific.

Watching the  Mid level Water Vapor loop thru the day, could see some degree of moisture wafting northwest from Mexico and south east from a trough just off California and the Pac. Northwest, then getting entrained in the main plume as it continues shifting moisture overhead. 

Needless to say, Near perfect conditions for crispy, summer season high clouds and other things that come with clouds made of ice. Unlike most days when such plumes pass through pretty quickly, this set up has allowed a steady stream of clouds to come and go throughout the day and into the evening. With this in mind, sacrificed myself to the sun trying to spot various things thru the day, resulting in a bit of a sunburn. Worth it since i was able to observe something i have never seen in all the years of watching clouds, or observing / chasing storms.

Before i get there, the day's opening act, and a few cloud shots.. Btw, clouds hung around for a pretty good sunset, although the west side of town got the best show this evening.

Always a good omen when greeted by the start of a 22 deg. Halo in the morning.. Well, close to 10AM

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Perfect Contrail conditions .. or Chemtrails,  ..for the " Earth is flat, Tin Foil hat wearing" Conspiracy crowd.. Anyway, lol..
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Warm season Cirrus and Cirrocumulus varieties..
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Onto some Fire n' Ice...

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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While some things you might spot in the sky on such days are fairly common, others are less so, or only occur during certain times of the year.  Halos, " Sun Dogs ", and certain other things are pretty common / can be seen all year. Other things, such as Circumhorizontal Arcs, sometimes also referred to as Fire Rainbows/ Fire Clouds are almost exclusively a warm season optical phenomena and can result from high level moisture shed from former tropical systems, and require a special set of conditions to occur. 

While i have seen a few of these here, nothing matches what occurred today. While not the brightest at times, today's Circumhorizontal display followed the sun through the sky ..throughout the day. In all the years staring up, i have never seen this..  Adding to it was a near constant halo around the sun, a nice pair Sun Dogs, and some other colorful things in the sky today. 

**A note on observing them, always look to the east or southeast when the sun is approximately at 68Deg. in the sky.  ( much more information can be researched online ) Here, that equates to roughly 10:00AM. How cold the clouds are will determine how bright the colors are. Today's show wasn't the brightest, but easy to detect when you know what to look for.  From the house, haven't seen this phenomena since roughly around this time, back in 2018.

Halo and Sun Dogs..

One of the better full 22deg halos i have seen in awhile, even if the picture is horribly out of focus.

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Better, but not the whole thing..
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Ever seen a " Wandering " Halo?.. me neither, until today.
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First sight of an illuminating CirHorztl. Arc..
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Off to the races.. Facing southeast to start, between 11:00 and Noon..
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Southwestern Sky, after 1PM
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One last fiery puff to close out the show.. Just after 2PM
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A few different occasions where both a 22 deg. Halo and CriHorztl. Arc are visible in the sky. can't recall seeing this in the past.
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 Something different.. Assuming this is a form of iridescence. Neat regardless.
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As if one day wasn't enough of a gift.. How 'bout a second?

Brief, but decent CirHorztl arc. From the front yard this time.


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'Them Sun Dogs i forgot to include Wednesday..
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Before the Monsoon, ya' gotta get through the heat,  and this..

As thought, on going Telegraph Fire east of town decided to go semi-volcano over the weekend after laying low Thursday /Friday ..after racing past Picketpost Mountain and barely missing Boyce Thompson ( Arboretum ) early last week. Increasingly moist easterly / southeasterly mid and low level flow as our beastly 4 corners high slides north of AZ, and soaring heat combined to turn a somewhat subdued fire into a plume dominant smoke monster that has been shooting pulses of smoke 15-20,000ft into the atmosphere overnight into today.  Circulation under the high as it moves north is pushing a good majority of that smoke, and smoke from a few other fires to the east / just across the border in New Mexico west into /across the valley.

Satellite view from this morning:


Unstable nature of the atmosphere over the smoke plume is also generating convective clouds above it, bringing them west and north as the plume spreads out.

One good thing about all the smoke, well, maybe two things.. Is holding temperatures in - check a bit as we get through the hottest time of the day, and might make for an interesting sunset.

Smoke itself will likely continue to spread toward Southern CA. / Nevada later, joining smoke being pulled west across Baja, then north into the S. Cal. from fires in the Sierra Madre of Mexico.  May continue to trim back the heat here tomorrow, if the Telegraph fire, or others nearby continue generating dense smoke / Pyrocumulus activity the rest of today/ tonight and tomorrow..  Outside chance, at least right now, we could see some sort of dust event tomorrow too. No rain though.


Impending " Apocalypse 2021 " pictures..
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We'll see what sunset brings..
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I hope the air quality doesn't get too bad for you guys... The heat will be bad enough... Good luck...

Butch

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2 minutes ago, Butch said:

I hope the air quality doesn't get too bad for you guys... The heat will be bad enough... Good luck...

Butch

They've been mentioning it,  since i'm sure phones were off the hook yesterday  but while there are hints of smoke at times, 99.6% of the smoke is lofted, say above 10-12K Ft.. at least for now. Ozone is pretty bad though.  Have a feeling dust is going to be really bad this year once we start seeing it get kicked up. Chance that might occur later today, maybe Thurs- Friday..

Smoke plume from the fire looks tamer than this time yesterday ( on satellite ) but still being blown west. We'll see what the afternoon brings.

Fyi.. Looking at Wx Underground's temp map across Chandler, most neighborhood stations are already in the mid 90s.. w/ a few at/ just above 100F ....at 8:42AM.  Rough day ahead..

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Some shots from a morning walk in the park, and at the house  on a wet, humid ...and much cooler Wednesday.

Looks a lot more threatening than it was.. Showers/ Storms were mostly on the west side of Phoenix / the Valley when i awoke this morning..

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Not sure which one i prefer..
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From the Park..
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Headed home as another shower moves in..
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3 hours ago, Butch said:

I really like the dark skies in the desert.... Just so cool.. Than you...

Butch

Thanks Butch, and agree 100% There's nothing quite like the skies here -when the weather cooperates-..  Not sure if it's just the terrain, open-ness of the sky itself.. or something else but the look you see here, and in other parts of the west during summer storms is something that is hard to duplicate back east.

If next week pans out as suggested,  Will have some great opportunities for even better looking " stormy " skies ( maybe the first Lightning shot attempts of the year too ).. 

Same " Active Monsoon " set up is likely to extend good cloud / stormy skies opportunities to all of S. Cal. ( even along the coast ) at various times next week as well.. 

In a nutshell, Keep any camera nearby.

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This evenings show... Before the real show begins.
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Verts: High " cloudiness " is Smoke above the lower AltoCumulus layer. Smoke is from big fires up on the rim, due north of the valley.

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I cannot tell you much about them, but the sky sure looked different today. Hopefully they do something tonight!  

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6 minutes ago, teddytn said:

Sun shower today53EE1419-2E25-43F4-BA32-8F914A6488D0.thumb.jpeg.af8d5949a5796d16be00eb5fe5c0aa1f.jpegE0ECE60E-478D-40BA-BEDA-DA450AC91EA5.thumb.jpeg.ec3604e0d52b29a5167db52cce99a74f.jpegE1540942-2E94-4F5D-B898-E99A7F4B1B0B.thumb.jpeg.b8a073623b9d3ba1e52307866e38dabe.jpegCA72D320-AEAD-45FD-90DB-C254ACDB6157.thumb.jpeg.62a011a31c13728f51d04e082362b5b7.jpeg092F3267-8466-470F-9A4D-91339D57BAA8.thumb.jpeg.ba9030b6fa1e3d539c73b78bdf02abc2.jpeg

What is that?  Are those rain drops?

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3 minutes ago, Reyes Vargas said:

What is that?  Are those rain drops?

Yes, sun shower

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A few shots before what would become a pretty decent Friday night light show.. 

What was left of Thursday night's decaying storm, after rolling off the mountains..

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Around sunset last night. Note the tiny " cell " trying to drop rain as it passes to my south / southwest.
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Something hidden back there?
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More hints to where the focus of the strongest storms was last night.
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Picture out of my office ....

Currently we are facing a season with lots of rain....

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Regards

Eckhard

Edited by Palmensammler
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15 hours ago, teddytn said:

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Waiting on my wife in the car, took some pics overhead through the sunroof

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Some goodies from the last couple days..

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Edited by Silas_Sancona
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More goodies thanks to our weekend soaker.. 

Skies earlier today were more reminiscent of Hawaii, or coastal CA. during the winter. Very unusual scene for mid- summer in AZ.

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Couple shots of the cloud topped San Tan ( mountains ) from a strangely misty Sunday morning walk in the park. Hard to see in these shots but the hillsides are greening up a bit atm.
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What do you see?  ..head of a Dragon?  ..a Stallion?
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Late afternoon attempts at generating more storms..  Even with more than enough moisture, just not warm enough / Atmosphere overhead simply worked over enough for much more activity..
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Picture from my daughter taken today.  Currently we do have a lot of thunderstorms and heavy rain.

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Eckhard

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Most mornings at work, I’m literally inside the clouds. You can faintly see the top of the hill top right of the pic.DFDA2994-E554-4621-ABA4-0F20EFDD422E.thumb.jpeg.e4ea6f5f5af4f9afe763ddbea3c5f236.jpeg

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Another round of overnight storms, morning soaker / dew covered windows led to this as the clouds broke mid- morning..  Looking like the next possible round of overnight rain/ storms is developing just south /west of the area.  Might be the most vivid example of this optical phenomenon of the entire summer, if not the entire year.

Circumhorizontal Arc ( aka a " Fire Rainbow " )

Through some flowery stuff, after the rain..

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Wide view:
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Pulled in a little tighter:
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Couple pictures of one of the " pulse " - type storms that have been percolating around the north/ northeast part of the valley this afternoon.   In the last picture, you can see what WX geeks / storm Chasers often refer to as the " tail " of the storm ..where an outward moving " out flow " boundary is lifting warm moist air up into the storm. This is one way new storms are generated or intensify.

In this case, many of the storms would briefly go severe / capable of dump upwards of 1" of rain in 30mins. / winds in excess of 50mph / generate hail before collapsing..

Not enough dynamics to generate organized, " multi-cellular " storms that can sustain themselves rather than quickly blow up then collapse just as rapidly and as they move around. Good portion of the Valley would likely be in the middle of a big, strong storm event under ideal conditions today.  Neat regardless.

Looking north toward Mesa and Scottsdale, where it was pouring at the time. Nice looking outflow boundary headed south / southeast ( right to left band of bubbly Cumulus below the storm )

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That band of Cumulus? poof! ..gone.

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Inflow " tail " of the storm.. Leading edge is on the far right. Can already tell it is loosing steam as it tries to move into an area of more stable air.
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