A step back to Summer storminess and some cloud phenomena

Hello All,

Apologies for the break here, the main reason has been that the weather has been pretty good of late so I have usually be out on my bike or wandering getting new material for the blog to file in my archive for later use. The weather has broken after an extended period of good warm sun….typically as the British we moaned as it was too hot about a day into it. Now it’s raining, people are moaning about that. Sigh.

Talking of the photography archive, I have decided that upon a scoot through, I would post some images from the summer storms and rain we had last year as there are a few phenomena to make you aware of.

One day there will be a pub quiz asking about this stuff and you’ll be glad, trust me.

First off, is the first clear occurrence I have seen of a pileus cloud. Usually spotted over mountains and such, this was over a very tall cumulus cloud as the showers sprung up around me. This is also called a “scarf cloud or a “cap cloud” by those who can’t handle a small latin word :p

Mr Wikipedia states that “a pileus found atop a cumulus cloud often foreshadows transformation into a cumulonimbus cloud, as it indicates a strong updraft within the cloud; Pilei clouds indicate that the parent cloud is growing rapidly, has plenty of moisture, and is highly unstable” so I am not making the storms up or over dramatising the weather in these posts. Weather don’t lie!

See? Pileus, here as a cap on the big white sunlit cumulus

See? Pileus, here as a cap on the big white sunlit cumulus

The next couple of images show virga. Arguably, this is linked to the previous phenomena, as these little cells that collapse and evaporate are trying to be big clouds. Bless their hearts! Basically, it is “an observable shaft of precipitation that evaporates before it hits the ground”.

A cloud cell collapsing and turning to virga....

A cloud cell collapsing and turning to virga….

In connection to my previous comment about the small clouds trying to eat their greens and become big boy clouds, I am right as the science bit says “Virga also has a role in seeding storms whereby small particles from one cloud are blown into neighbouring supersaturated air and act as nucleation particles for the next thunderhead cloud to begin forming”…so I wasn’t making it up. However, sadly on this occasion, none of that happened 😦

Smaller virga above my head

Smaller virga above my head

This is where my science head runs out. A rainbow in the middle of a cloud?! Crazy stuff! I think in all honesty it is more virga but the sun was very low and at just the right angle to catch the light through the water droplets here. It was very short-lived but pretty.

The newly named "cloudus-withus-a-rainbow-in it...us"

The newly named “cloudus-withus-a-rainbow-in it…us”

Once all this had cleared came the edge of a front or “whales mouth”. Don’t ask me why it’s called that but again, the colours were pretty striking so a boring cloud was made a little less boring with a little red on it. However, whilst this was happening, behind me the sky was completely different!

The "whales mouth" of a front coming towards where I was standing with the setting sun turning it a nice colour

The “whale’s mouth” of a front coming towards where I was standing with the setting sun turning it a nice colour

Confused? I was, as this sky and the two or three clouds that made it up were worlds apart from the type I had just been looking at. Remember, as per the usual posts I make on here, this is all in (roughly) the same place on the same day. How things change!

Thin, high and wispy clouds to the west very different to what was approaching the other way

Thin, high and wispy clouds to the west very different to what was approaching the other way

I’m sorry for all the cloud pictures. I should really branch out into other areas, but I looove weather. Alas there are a few more files of this ilk (sky phenomena) to come but then I am going to educate all of you on Belgium as I will be entering the folder containing last years holiday snaps. Don’t sneer, Belgium may be deemed boring and they do put mayonnaise  on their chips (which is just weird) but the place is oozing culture and history, you’ll see!

Thanks for dropping in and I appreciate the comments sent to me of late. Please keep them coming. All the best until next time.

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  1. #1 by bookvolunteer on June 26, 2014 - 9:35 pm

    Belgium also produced Jacques Brel…absolutely not boring!

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