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Cloud Photos


Walter John

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Another day,  more wild skies...

Assemblage of upper level waves n' streaks riding a a strong jet streak as it noses south across the area.

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" Quick Flash " Fire Cloud / Parhelion ( Begining to end totaled less than 10 minutes ) Stuff happens fast when you're traveling past over 200MPH

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More  absurdly  colorful iridescence

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Here’s a few cloud/ mountain shots yesterday in Pigeon Forge, TNIMG_8641.thumb.jpeg.960e8aa083f632af773392790efc9cbb.jpegIMG_8642.thumb.jpeg.b964534a9e9ba02dfe7ce097e7ef322b.jpegIMG_8643.thumb.jpeg.79ea7fdc74b167989779a8131f2e3de3.jpegThat’s why they call them the Smokey mountains ☝🏻

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Halos, more Parhelion,  a  " Flashover ",  sum' more Iridescence, technicolor waves,  and some Goldy Hour stripes..

When Silver hour fades into Golden Hour  AKA: " Goldy " Hour, lol..


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" Sun Dogs ",  ....and friends:

Odd ball Parhelion  at 9AM


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Mid Day " Sun Dogs " Parts of a 22deg Halo visible as well below the sun's position in the sky.

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Parhelion and reasonably decent attempt at an upper Tangent Arc..

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The good " X ".  Other x is garbage.. :winkie::D

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" Anti-Solar " spot...  Rare as they are, Usually see these in spring / summer..  Late Fall is extra special..  To the untrained eye, this might look like another patch of brighter Cirrus among others nearby.  To the trained eye, it is easy to tell they are anything but another brighter patch of clouds.. Watch it for a bit and you'll be able to tell that it is Ice Crystals arranged just the right way to bounce light from the sun ( which will be in the exact opposite direction of the sky ..AKA ..Behind me ) ..Like putting a mirror on a west facing wall and the sun hitting it at just the right time to blind you, lol.  In this case the sun is in the Southwestern sky, while the " mirror " sits at almost the same altitude, just in the North or N.E. part of the sky ..that day at least.

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22 deg. Halo

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Another vivid " Flash Over " This time at 10AM.

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........................>

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Not sure what the reason is lately but, in the ..almost 7 years... here, i don't recall a year where there were repeated days when vivid Iridescence was visible. Pretty cool regardless.. 

Very " Lil' Yachty Meets Bob Ross "  kinda skies..  ..Some of you people will get the rub, ..or should. Sad sad day if not. lol.


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Some techincolor Kelvin Helmholtz -esque Waves  ..just to up the trip factor a notch..      Whatza' Kelvin Helmholtz?    ..Time to do sum' homework kiddo :greenthumb:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Cotton Balls, Gold-y hour " Black Velvet",  X' es and Halos,  and a " Sun Smile? "   ....'Yhepp, Uh huh.

Perfect Puffballs..


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...And some  Alto " waves " ( Gravity Waves embedded within a sheet of Alto Stratus )

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If X marks the spot, Than, which X ..marks the spot???    < Deeep Thoughtssss >   ..The truth is out there ( Cue the musical score )

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Fallstreak and a Fallstreak " punch " hole..  Every so often, if conditions are right,  a bank of precipitating Cirrus will cut a hole through a lower cloud deck ( if thin enough ) creating this fascinating optical display.. Though not as well defined as it can be, in some cases, the hole(s) created can have very well defined borders ( where the descending, drier air has punched a hole through the lower cloud deck )

If the Cirrus cloud " tuft " completely " rains itself out " it can leave behind long streaks that seem to poke down through and below the opened area.. At certain times of the day, descending curtains of ice crystals ( from the higher, cold Cirrus clouds ) can create various ice crystal - related Atmospheric Optics, like Parhelia ( " Sun Dogs " ), or Circumhorizontal / Circumzenethial Arcs ..or incomplete sections of a 22deg Halo.


This particular event never really advanced to the " well defined opening " stage.


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.......>>>>>>>

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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And finally, The final  ...Halos, " Dogs ",  another, quick flash over,  and ...A " Sun Smile"?  ...of 2023 ( Unless something interesting occurs between today and Sunday, lol. )

22Deg.  Haloes w/ Parhelia ..Aka:  Sun Dogs / Mock Suns.  First hint of a " Sun Smile ", if you look hard enough,  in shot #2

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>Parhelion close up, w/ faint Parhelic Circle ( to the left and sloping down / away from the central bright spot in the center of the shot )

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More diffuse Parhelion, w/ lower bits and pieces of a 22 deg halo above / below the " Mock Sun "

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Brief, feathery " Flash Over "

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>>>




....So,  ...what the heck is a " Sun Smile " anyway...  Simply put, this Atmospheric Optical Event ( AOE )  is the sister to a CHZA, or CircumHoriZontal Arc,  otherwise known as a CircunZenithal Arc ..or CZA.

With the first, it will always appear below the sun, at about 58 or so deg. above the horizon, following around the base of the sun as the sun moves west across the sky.  The latter  ( CZA ) is always positioned above the sun, often peaking around the time of day the sun is directly over head, or at it's " Zenith "  Though it can be detected as early as 9 or 10AM, if conditions are ideal.

While the CHZA almost always appears as a band, ..with maybe a wide, relaxed curve,  CZA always appears as a more tightly curved arc that resembles a " Smile " or the " Waxing " Crescent phase of the Moon.

Like it's sister, this AOE is reasonably common sight in the summer across most of the U.S ( ..and, more esp. areas south of the U.S ). Not seen quite as often during the cooler months unless conditions are optimal ( Plentiful  Cirrus and Cirrostratus of  subtropical origin, w/ no turbulence through the cloud layer to disturb how ice crystals in the clouds are arranged. ). 

Was surprised to look up while grabbing shots of a Halo and see one taking shape.  More of a surprise that one occurred on 3 separate days  ..in December..  Pretty niice..

Day #1:

Brightening Phase...

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Peak intensity phase..
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Fade out / dimming  phase...
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Day #2:

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Day #3: ..A bit more diffuse since it is occurring at roughly 9:28 AM.  Despite that, note that it's position is always above the Sun.  Half 22deg Halo and pair of Sun Dogs easily seen in the shot as well.

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...And a little more Iridescence,  just to round things off..

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End of the year Halo, Parhelia, ..and another, unexpected smile..

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Some final iridescence..

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Crispy and Wispy Cirrus..

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May 2024 fill your skies with wonder and curiosity about the skies above..  Always look up.  Without blinders on.

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Unusual appearance of Kelvin Helmholtz clouds..

In this case, only the " caps " are visible at the peak of each wave, vs. full, breaking " waves " that are sometimes seen in this cloud formation. Cloud-less spaces between each individual cloud -filled peak represent troughs of drier air which aren't conductive to cloud development. 

Super cooled water droplet - caused Iridescence present would hint that they are within the mid-level " Alto " cloud family,  rather than scraps of warmer, Cumular, or low Stratus-type clouds ...which typically contain larger, liquid water droplets, thus leading to much color to be present when viewed, esp after the sun has set.

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  • 1 month later...

Time to play catch up..

The odd Shower Out..


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The odd blob..

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Mean skies, Almost #1

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...Monsoon impersonator

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Mare's Tails and Racing Stripes

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Nice Mams

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Mean Skies, almost #2  ...And a Hummingbird photo bomber..

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Bird Waves

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From Cirrus  with love..

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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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  • 2 weeks later...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Kaleidoscope Shadows...


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....And a fire tail..

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  • 2 weeks later...

" Sun Dogs ", " Sun Smiles ", Lunar Halo,  ..and a fairly rare type of A.O.P. ( Atmospheric Optical Phenomenon )

Sun Dogs ( Parhelia / Parhelion )


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Winter 23- 24 has definitely been a year for " Sun Smiles " / CirumZenithal Arcs.. A quick changing event in this case..

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Lunar 22deg Halo..

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One of the rarest forms of " Lights in the Sky "  that can be observed outside the Arctic.. As uncommon as it is to observe any time of the year, a full Parhelic Circle and the associated Wegener Arc that can form along it are less common during the cooler months.

What is a Wegener Arc? see the links included below.  Regardless,  while i've seen vague, isolated Wegeners ..Sometimes called " Anti Solar Spots " ..Since they occur opposite to where the sun is positioned,   or partial Parhelic Circles,  this display was a complete event.  Impossible to capture correctly without a wide angle fish lens.

Flare up / illumination phase...   Hard to see but illuminating Arc is present in the shot., Starting with the faint Sun Dog on the Right, ending at the top right side of the palm on the left.


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Mature / fully illuminated phase.... Should be much easier to see both the full Parhelic Circle / Wegener Arc. W/ a wide angle fish Lens, i'd be able to capture the full 360deg arc back to the where the Sun is positioned.

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Research Links:

https://atoptics.co.uk/blog/wegener-arc-and-parhelic-circle-the-netherlands-opod/

https://www.weatherscapes.com/album.php?cat=optics&subcat=wegener_arcs

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 The Wanna be winter Monsoon series.  Besides being a good winter for Ice Crystal Optic Events, this year has brought some rather unusual storm events as we try to shake off the effects of El Nino.. 

If  July or August, many of these storm events would have included lots of lightning..  Unfortunately, just not warm enough this time of year to generate the necessary CAPE / Lapse Rates to generate the kind of convection needed to generate a lot of electricity..

That said, still can see the gusty, ( ...And chilly, considering the time of year ) outflow driven wind events ..that have sometimes kicked up the dust a bit, brief, heavy showers ( ..and occasional Hail ) and some pretty dramatic cloud -scapes, even if on a " capped " scale ( Capped =  storm height / structure reduced due to limited convection to generate deep / tall storm structures ....the kind you see during the warmer months )

Storm event #1,  2/ 28: This was the storm event that generated the second earliest issuance of a " Dust Advisory / Dust Warning " for the Phoenix area as strong outflow managed to scrape up some pockets of dense dust as it raced north and west across the valley away from this storm.

..If this had occurred in July, we'd likely have seen the classic " wall of dust / Haboob " our area is famous for.. 

Essentially, storms developed in the " sweet spot " for generating dust that ends up crossing the valley  ...Roughly in the open desert just S.S.E. of the house, between the San Tan Mountains, and Oracle / Oracle Junction, on the N. facing side of the Catalinas west to about Casa Grande / Eloy..

Great clouds but ..As cool as it was already, the passing gust front dropped temps by 13deg.. From 62F into the high 40s, while the wind howled on through..  Weird to see a very monsoon season -like storm, right as winter starts to fade.

Mid elevation generated showers popping up ahead of the " main " line lurking just above the S.E' r n horizon.  Showers generated largely dissipate in the dry air below them, but generate localized downbursts.


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Main show rollin in ..lookin mean..    July?  = a nice light show / probably flirting w/ some bolts included as these made their approach.

Look closely at shots 2 - 5 and you can see a low wall of dust hugging the horizon where the traffic signals / Ped. crossing sign is.


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Strongest of the storms entering the weakening / collapsing phase right as they reach my doorstep, which was when the dust ( and ground blizzard of leaves ) started getting kicked up..

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Fairly well defined gust front generated shelf cloud marching north..

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Weird to see the footprint of storm outflow raise a cloud of dense dust  -in late February.

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Monsoon wannabe #2  ...The " Almost Angry Enough " Squall line..

It all starts with taller tops... Low tops = Low energy / storm life cycle is typically short.  Taller the tops are, more energy, thus, a longer life / more time to turn severe.


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I see some green in there

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Angering skies..

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A gust front with teeth ..and the odd " rolling " cloud segment that developed along it ( Shot #2 ).  If this thing were strong enough to generate one, that rolling portion of the wall cloud this storm generated would be where a " Gust-nado " / Land spout would form.

On the plains, you can get tornadoes spinning up under these kinds of features. " Rolling " motion is left to right / counter clockwise as the cloud tries to surge toward my location from the southwest.


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" Brown Cloud " effect, take #1

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One mean looking low cloud base. If only it would have tried to rotate a bit..

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Lil' more Green in there..

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" Brown Cloud " effect take 2 and 3..  This is the desert's version of low cloud formation along a gust front or low - height inflow region of a storm being in a position where the sun illuminates everything in front of the advancing storm. On the Plains, this would enhance the amount of green being reflected off the base of the clouds from the ground from green grass.

Here, sunlight reflects the brown tones of desert ground thus, ...the " Brown " Cloud effect..


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And after it passed,  some Sunset storm tops from some storms hanging over the ft.hills n.w. of town ...at sunset.. Lower in height than what you'd see in July or August ..but creating the same effect as a stormy day.

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3 /07:  " Chunky Hill Huggers ", Part #1..

During Monsoon season, first storms of the day will always bubble up  up in the mountains, then slowly propagate down hill towards the valley. 

Not often you see a storm set up where storm activity tries to do ..essentially the same thing,  in  ...early March...  ..and this was just one of a couple events where that " starts in the mountains, and tries to move into the valley " set up occurred last month.


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While they didn't make it down here, what storms did eventually make it off the foothills did offer up a very nice monsoon-y season sunset as the storms collapsed.

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Cool season " Hill Huggers " Take #2..  3 / 18

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The final hugger?? 3 / 19

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Who says clouds make the eclipse less worth viewing? With the right ones you can see the moon as a 3D object during an eclipse.

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04 / 01:  Almost, but no dice..   Crispy though...

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The Pileus that could've been...

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Breaking up is never easy..

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Gold Coast, Queensland Latitude 28S. Mild, Humid Subtropical climate. Rainfall - not consistent enough!

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  • 2 weeks later...

..It may be vague but, first official CHzA of 2024.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More goodies...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mid - May hint of the Monsoon season preview..

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Nice Mams ( Mammatus.. )

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Some late Spring  Iridescence / Mother Of Pearl..

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  CHzA 

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...Vague, but making an appearance on Memorial Day.

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Vivid Infralateral / Lower Lateral Tangent Arc.

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