Went to see Sean Casey’s new IMAX film Tornado Alley today. Something I’ve been looking forward to ever since the season ending of Storm Chasers. Was kind of cool because Dr Kosiba was there too (http://www.cswr.org/contents/staff-Karen.php). We chatted for a little bit before we had to get out of the DOW, as others were waiting in line.
The movie was worth the admission, but I do have to say that IMAX films are not so good when the camera is bouncing around. I now understand why some people get nauseous in these theaters. While I enjoyed the movie, I do prefer the HD TV version (of the show) better because of the picture quality. Although, some of the images were pretty neat to see at such scale. It gave you the feeling and grandeur of the size.
In all, it was nice to see what Sean put together. I do hope he provides an extended version if/when it gets released to DVD. If you’re an extreme weather nut, you’ll enjoy it.
As for the weather here, what can I tell you. A fairly strong onshore flow is still causing all the clouds and occasional showers. At least there are sun breaks. Don’t count on much of a change for the next few days though. In fact the clouds could increase a bit as a deeper marine layer settles in. Same story, different day. Still waiting for summer.
Only my way home from work I noticed some striking clouds in the sky. These are called altocumulus lenticular clouds.
According to pilotsfriend.com (http://www.pilotfriend.com/av_weather/meteo/clouds.htm), “This occurs due to a wave effect in the air flow. This wave effect normally develops as a result of a mountain range on windy days. The wave effect forces air to rise above the condensation level and hence allows cloud to form. Due to the rise and fall effect (peaks and troughs), the cloud may only exist in areas of peaks and therefore appear patchy. ”
While these normally happen on the lee side of a large mountain range, the coast range is the only range to the west. The coast range is not large at all. So, what could cause such a phenomenon? Perhaps with the air in front of an approaching system off the coast, moving at a relatively fast speed, is being “folded” as it slows down by friction over the not so smooth land mass. That faster air will eventually mix down to the ground later on to provide a bit of breezy conditions. We’ll see what happens.
In the meantime enjoy the sun. The rain returns again for the weekend.
A quick thanks to Clark for sending in the idea for this post. He says, “The other day I saw this strange light in the south… not a rainbow… lasted about 6 minutes only…..?” A very good question indeed. This is actually known as a circumhorizontal arc. According to Victoria Gillman at National Geographic, “…it is caused by light passing through wispy, high-altitude cirrus clouds. The sight occurs only when the sun is very high in the sky (more than 58° above the horizon)… [T]he hexagonal ice crystals that make up cirrus clouds must be shaped like thick plates with their faces parallel to the ground.
When light enters through a vertical side face of such an ice crystal and leaves from the bottom face, it refracts, or bends, in the same way that light passes through a prism. If a cirrus’s crystals are aligned just right, the whole cloud lights up in a spectrum of colors.”
So no, it wasn’t a UFO or some anomaly. It’s a real, explainable phenomenon. Courtesy of mother nature and the unique chemical/physical makeup of earths atmosphere.
We could only wish. Unfortunately the line you see in the radar shot is pretty much stationary as a strong mid level onshore flow develops. Still a chance in the southern willamette valley, but not us in Portland. Temps will begin cooling off overnight while moist cooler air moves in. Yep, back to early spring for a few days this week.