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Wanted: Ace Pix for International Cloud Atlas

By: Bob Henson 3:27 PM GMT on January 18, 2016

The future of cloud classification is bright and sunny...and packed with stratus and cirrus, not to mention cirrocumulus floccus and cumulus tuba. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has embarked on a whole new version of its international cloud atlas, used by weather observers worldwide to ensure that clouds are described in a uniform fashion. The atlas was first published in 1939 based on work extending back to the 1800s. The most recent edition can be downloaded as a PDF, but the next version will be web-based. This opens the door for entirely new ways of presenting and documenting the world’s seemingly endless variety of clouds.

Another cool feature this time: you’ve got a chance to pitch in. The WMO launched a website in October that allows anyone to submit their photos--and videos--for consideration in the upcoming atlas. Your odds of getting imagery accepted will be highest if you go for the more obscure, harder-to-document cloud types and if you can provide details on the geographic and meteorological context of your image (see below).


Figure 1. Spectacular mamma (mammatus) clouds that formed on the back side of a severe thunderstorm that moved through the Austin, TX, area in April 2015. Although mammatus are often observed in association with tornadic supercells, they do not produce tornadoes themselves. Image credit: wunderphotographer txazgal.

An atlas for the 21st century
“Manual on the Observations of Clouds and Other Meteors” has been used for more than 80 years as the definitive reference book and guide for weather observers around the globe. (As one might guess from “meteorology,” the technical term “meteors” refers to pretty much anything found in the atmosphere.) The original 1939 atlas was split into two volumes in 1956, with Volume 1 focusing on detailed descriptions and Volume 2 on photos and brief captions. Volume 1 was updated in 1975 and Volume 2 in 1986, before the widespread availability of high-resolution digital cameras. Almost 100 of the 248 images in Volume 2 are in black and white only, so there is plenty of room to make the atlas more colorful.

Today, it’s a cinch to find web pages full of stunning cloud images and easy-to-read descriptions. However, “the classifications used in many descriptions are not accurate,” according to Steve Cohn (National Center for Atmospheric Research), who is serving as chair of the WMO committee that’s updating the cloud atlas. “There’s also a lot of really good cloud information on the web, but if you want to be sure, the International Cloud Atlas is the definitive and trusted source.”

The WMO is striving for both accuracy and accessibility in the new atlas. It’s expected to go online by 2017, when the agency's World Meteorological Day (March 23] will be centered on the theme "Understanding Clouds." Before then, said Cohn, “we’ve got an awful lot of work to do choosing photos, writing captions, and modernizing the writing style of the manual.”


Figure 2. The WMO’s Task Team on the International Cloud Atlas, pictured here, is part of the agency’s Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observations (CIMO). Left to right: Kwong Hung Tam (Hong Kong, China), Colleen Rae (South Africa), Elaine Thurig-Jenzer (Switzerland), Mike Bruhn (Australia, Vice-Chair), Marinés Campos (Argentina), Jim Trice (UK), George Anderson (UK), Steve Cohn (USA, Chair), and Ernest Lovell (Barbados).

The new web-based format will allow for major improvements to the atlas. For example:

--Time-lapse video can illustrate the evolution of cloud types

--There will be room to show how a cloud type can vary by season and/or latitude

--Radar images, thermodynamic profiles, and other tools can enhance the explanation of how various clouds form

--A revamped, user-friendly flow chart will help observers identify clouds


Figure 3. A prototype version of the updated flow chart designed to help weather observers place clouds into the 10 cloud genera (top-level categories) recognized by the WMO’s International Cloud Atlas. Along with these genera, there are 14 species (second-level categories) that describe the shape and internal structure of clouds, as well as 9 varieties (third-level categories), which deal with the transparency and arrangement of cloud elements. The WMO committee working on the atlas update has proposed adding a 15th species: volutus (Latin for “rolled”), also known as roll clouds or morning glory clouds. The atlas also recognizes several types of supplementary features and accessory clouds. Image credit: WMO.

What’s new and what’s needed from you
Working with an expert in the Latin language, the WMO committee has already come up with a few “preliminary official” names for some cloud features long recognized by weather enthusiasts. Below are a few examples of cloud features with their newly proposed Latinesque names, accompanied by images I’ve pulled from our vast WunderPhoto collection. We encourage these and other wunderphotographers to submit their work to WMO!

How to submit your image:

--Go to the Image Submission website

--Download the “Read Me First” file (PDF)

--Register yourself as a user

--When you’re ready to contribute, use the “Submit New Imagery” pull-down

The “Read Me First” file contains a great deal of helpful guidance, including a list of details required for each photo submitted (e.g., date and time of photo, latitude/longitude, direction the camera was pointing) and additional context that can improve the chance of an image being accepted (photo metadata, weather observations, etc.). There’s also a wish list of several dozen categories where WMO is in the greatest need of good imagery. Here are some categories that grabbed my eye:

Cirrus virga rainbow — virga has melted and a rainbow is visible in the water droplets

Altostratus duplicatus — two or more superposed layers, at slightly different levels, sometimes partly merged

Clouds from industry — examples are clouds of smoke and steam in industrial areas, smoke clouds created for frost protection purposes, clouds of insecticide gas or powders in agricultural areas.

Clouds from waterfalls — spray saturates air and cloud forms, usually in the form of cumulus. Brilliant rainbows often present.

“We’re already getting many photos of the more common clouds, and this is exciting,” Cohn told me. “We’ll probably have to hunt for people to contribute great images of the more unusual ones.” The team has already picked an image to illustrate asperitas (also known as asperatus), one of the most recently identified cloud features. Australian photographer Gary McArthur was named in September as the winner of a competition sponsored by the Cloud Appreciation Society in conjunction with the WMO. McArthur’s winning image was honored in an event held at the Royal Geographic Society in London.

Although the WMO website lists no firm deadline, Cohn encourages photographers and videographers to submit their work by April 2016. A poster created by Cohn and colleagues to publicize the new atlas was presented last week in New Orleans at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society.

Meteotsunami!
Now that our unusual midwinter burst of Northern Hemisphere hurricane activity has subsided, Jeff Masters and I will be posting later this week on some of the weather and climate highlights of 2015. In the meantime, here's a helpful explainer from WU contributor Lee Grenci on the physics behind the meteotsunami associated with powerful thunderstorms that struck the southwest Florida coast on Sunday morning. Marshall Shepherd (@DrShepherd2013) also penned an excellent recap of the event for Forbes, and WU contributor Larry Atkinson provides additional background and links.

Bob Henson

Below: Latin-derived names and descriptions for some of the cloud features and special clouds proposed to be added to the International Cloud Atlas (Note: all photos shown here are from wunderground members rather than the WMO. No official selections have yet been made in these categories.)


Figure 4. Cavum (Latin for cavity/hole/hollow) — a well-defined, generally circular (sometimes linear) hole formed in a thin layer of super-cooled cloud, which generally grows larger with time. Common names: fallstreak hole, hole-punch cloud, distrail, canal cloud. Image credit: wunderphotographer PSLTony.


Figure 5. Murus (Latin for wall) — A localized, persistent, and often abrupt lowering of cloud from the base of a cumulonimbus and from which tuba (funnel clouds) and spouts (tornadoes) sometimes form. Common name: wall cloud. Image credit: wunderphotographer wxchaser97.


Figure 6. Flammagenitus (Latin for fire + generated) — Cloud that develops as a consequence of convection initiated by heat from localized natural heat sources, such as forest fires and wild fires. Common name: pyrocumulus. Image credit: wunderphotographer FrancesJeanne.


Figure 7. Homogenitus (Latin for manmade) — Cloud that forms as a direct consequence of human activity. Common names include contrails. Image credit: wunderphotographer GVIslander.


Figure 8. Fluctus (Latin for wave/billow) — A relatively short-lived wave formation, usually on the top surface of the cloud, in the form of curls, or breaking waves. Common name: Kelvin-Helmholtz waves. Image credit: wunderphotographer Nordicmom.

Photos

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting 492. Xyrus2000:



*flexes and stretches*

Epic calorie burn workout coming right up! Come on up here and play little snow demons! I'll take you all on! Hit me with your best shot! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

*cough* erm... I mean it would be nice if we got a little snow. ;)
Greetings Xyrus...A lot of cold air and energy out there.. Storm seems likely now. Potential for the subtropical jet to get involved. That in itself makes for a dangerous storm .Blocking keeps whatever forms from leaving in a hurry. Track favors a second system of some type, to early to say..
GFS at 120..not so far out.. Looking more like storm will occur.

Safe to say the air will be very cold when system arrives.

Notice the blocking to the north. Should weaken some as storm progresses.

Second trof looking more impressive.

Navigating Europe's longest ice road from Estonia to Hiiumaa
BBC, 43 minutes ago
Europe's longest ice road is 26km long and stretches over the frozen surface of the Baltic Sea, connecting Estonia's mainland to the island of Hiiumaa.
It is usually open from late January to late March when the ice is thick enough to carry the weight of vehicles.
The director of the island's museum, Toomas Kokovkin, described the experience.


Snow-diving squirrel caught on camera in Estonia
BBC, 17 January 2016 Last updated at 11:16 GM
To add at least something to the blog topic, here a nice cartoon with some interesting cultural informations:


How did clouds get their names? Youtube 24.11.2015
The study of clouds has always been a daydreamer's science, aptly founded by a thoughtful young man whose favorite activity was staring out of the window at the sky. Richard Hamblyn tells the history of Luke Howard, the man who classified the clouds and forever changed humanity's understanding of these changeable, mysterious objects.


Have a nice day, everyone!
Quoting 437. BayFog:


Jet nosing in directly over the Northern California coast, pushing in a blossoming cloud shield associated with another frontal system. More heavy rain due in tonight and early tomorrow.

Water tables are high now around the Bay Area. On my bike ride today, I saw plenty of standing water, and creeks are flowing fast. The rest of the rainy season will include flooding in the usual spots. Main stem rivers will be okay until and unless the big reservoirs top off. We shall see.

The ground aquifer is doing fine, reservoirs according to USGS are 50 to 75% capacity in Northern California.
Good morning.



It don't rain in southern California.....
:-)
Much.
513. beell
Quoting 485. Jedkins01:



What about taking one in a snow drift?

:)


Leaving one, leaving. Never take one!
:)
514. beell
Quoting 483. Drakoen:



Post a touch of the dry slot.

I'm going to head to the supermarket tomorrow as I imagine winter storm watches and blizzard watches will go up on Wednesday or very late Tuesday.


True enough. If a dry slot is a factor on a temporary reduction in snowfall, it would probably rotate on through to the east by Sunday.


01/19 00Z GFS 700 mb RH-Valid 10PM EST, Friday
515. MahFL
Quoting 437. BayFog:

Main stem rivers will be okay until and unless the big reservoirs top off. We shall see.


I would have thought it would take more than one winter rainfall to refill the drought ravaged reservoirs ?
Quoting 502. hydrus:

GFS at 120..not so far out.. Looking more like storm will occur.




I'm in the silver on that one:) The 2010 storm was on my oldest child's tenth birthday and we had 22". This one is forecast on my youngest third birthday. He's decided he wants a sled:) I just think he'll be swallowed.
517. MahFL
Quoting 510. trunkmonkey:


reservoirs according to USGS are 50 to 75% capacity in Northern California.


Not sure what your looking at but the cdec.water.ca.gov says 22 % to 37 %.

Link
Quoting 500. hydrus:

Latest Euro actually does show the low being elongated. Dont know if it is a temporary , or if something new is afoot. A low situated as such could pull in more moisture from the Atlantic. Its wait and see..







Aimed right at me!! It's all fun and games until we get some insane record setting global warming fed 5' snow or something.
519. beell
Day 4-Friday
Day 5-Saturday

DAY 4-8 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0336 AM CST TUE JAN 19 2016

VALID 221200Z - 271200Z

...DISCUSSION... ECMWF/GFS ARE IN GENERAL AGREEMENT REGARDING THE EVOLUTION OF UPPER TROUGH AS IT MIGRATES INTO THE APPALACHIANS DAY4 AND OFF THE MIDDLE ATLANTIC COAST DAY5. STRONG MID-LEVEL FLOW WILL TRANSLATE THROUGH THE BASE OF THE TROUGH ACROSS THE FL PENINSULA BEFORE EJECTING INTO THE WRN ATLANTIC. PRIMARY SFC LOW IS EXPECTED TO TRACK ACROSS THE NRN GULF STATES BEFORE DEEPENING LATE DAY4 ALONG THE CAROLINA COAST. MODELS DO NOT DESTABILIZE PRE-FRONTAL AIR MASS APPRECIABLY ACROSS THE FL PENINSULA OR ALONG THE CAROLINA COAST. THERE IS SOME CONCERN FOR ORGANIZED CONVECTION ACROSS THESE REGIONS GIVEN THE STRENGTH OF THE DEEPENING LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM AND FORECAST SHEAR PROFILES. WHILE LOW SEVERE PROBS MAY ULTIMATELY BE NEEDED ACROSS THESE REGIONS...FORECAST MEAGER INSTABILITY DOES NOT WARRANT 15 PERCENT SEVERE PROBS AT THIS TIME.

..DARROW.. 01/19/2016
I'm still waiting for my N Gulf coast snow!
521. redux
does the low being more elongated as shown on this run imply that the wrap around will be less of a factor for DC/MD etc and more of a factor for NJ, NY CT?

522. beell
Quoting 520. PensacolaDoug:

I'm still waiting for my N Gulf coast snow!


Will you settle for this, Doug?
RIP GF.
From Central Florida weekend forecast: H50 TEMPS STILL PROGGED TO BE ARND -14C AT THE TIME OF THE FROPA...
REASONABLE GIVEN THE MID LVL THERMAL TROF OVER THE WRN GOMEX. THE
H30-H20 JET REMAINS IN A VERY "EL NINO-LIKE" POSITION WITH THE
80-100KT ISOTACK OVER THE BAY OF CAMPECHE AND EXTENDING INTO THE EPAC.

MID LVL VORT PATTERN LOOKS FAVORABLE FOR PRECIP AS WELL...THOUGH THE
LATEST GFS MODEL RUN HAS PULLED THE CENTER OF THE ROTATION A LITTLE
FURTHER NORTH AND MAINTAINS A NEGATIVE TILT TO THE TROF AS IT PUSHES
THRU.

EXTENDED MOS POPS ARE DIVERGENT WITH GFS SUGGESTING PRECIP BLO 50PCT
(SIMILAR TO THE 18/00Z RUN)...WHILE ECM IS BTWN 60-70PCT. GIVEN THIS
DISCREPANCY AND THE FACT THAT THIS EVENT IS STILL FOUR DAYS OUT...
WILL KEEP PRECIP CAPPED AT 50PCT AREAWIDE. WILL ALSO KEEP A SLGT CHC
FOR TSRAS GIVEN THE POTENTIAL DYNAMIC/THE
Quoting 495. washingtonian115:

Euro shows 3 feet of snow.It is getting very concerning that the Euro and GFS are agreeing on these very high snow amounts.This storm could be one for the record books indeed if this trend continues into Wednesday.

52+inches in WVA. LOL
brrrr.42f.day2..e.cen.fl
GFS piles on the snow with the second storm and shows up to 60 inches in total here in the mid-atlantic on 10 day map
Good morning. It has gone from nippy to downright cold in SE Alabama this morning. The low was 22 at 0500 but it popped up to 24 at 0600 for reasons I can't explain. Still have a north wind so it doesn't seem like any warm air advection has started yet. I guess it's just some local variation. We're still the relative warm spot though compared to Birmingham at 20 and Alexander City at 18.

Things turn a little nasty for the next four or five days here. Another shortwave carrying more cold air comes through tonight. That should put our low down to about 25 again tomorrow morning. After that, WAA really does start in earnest ahead of the next front on Thursday. Looks like a high of about 68 on Thursday with showers and thunderstorms. The SPC is carrying a marginal risk of severe storms west of us in Mississippi. We'll have to watch to see if the destabilization here increases during the day. This is the same system that will bring snow to the East Coast Saturday and Sunday.

After Thursday, things start to get a bit messy here, as the timing between precipitation and the arrival of more cold air ensues. These are the kinds of mesoscale details models aren't good at, so the real transition zone will be an hour by hour thing Friday night and Saturday morning. It looks like the southern limits of anything frozen will be about from Clanton over to Alagirl's house in Opelika. I should be too warm for anything frozen. The further north, the nastier it will get, with the possibility that areas up around Huntsville will get enough ice and snow to cause some accumulations and travel problems. All in all, some interesting weather days coming up for the entire East Coast as winter really settles in.
Quoting 521. redux:

does the low being more elongated as shown on this run imply that the wrap around will be less of a factor for DC/MD etc and more of a factor for NJ, NY CT?


Could be, or it may just be some changing around as the models try to figure out what will really happen. There will probably be a few strange looking things happen over the next four days when looking at the models. The closer we get, the more models will be trying to resolve things in a 12 to 24 hour timeframe. Experience shows they aren't good at that. All you can do is watch weather south and west of you as things get closer. You'll have a better picture of what may happen to you by watching the actual weather upstream.
Quoting 520. PensacolaDoug:

I'm still waiting for my N Gulf coast snow!
Not coming this week, Doug, sorry. Still, this pattern in the past has led to snow further south after about two weeks, so hope spring eternal.
Quoting 517. MahFL:



Not sure what your looking at but the cdec.water.ca.gov says 22 % to 37 %.

Link
The USGS doesn't track reservoir levels, so looking at the USGS site only shows streamflow. There are some sites in northern California with streamflows in the 90th percentile of flood stage but none are currently at flood stage.
It was about 4 to 5 degrees warmer this morning in Tampa than forecasted. I believe the reason is due to the persistent El Nino jet shown in the water vapor loop bringing us high clouds. Local mets continue to completely discount the impact of this day after day. Even this morning, they were saying the high clouds should push away from the area. Doesn't seem like that will be the case so tonight should be warmer than forecasted also

536. MahFL
Quoting 527. sar2401:

Good morning. It has gone from nippy to downright cold in SE Alabama this morning. The low was 22 at 0500 but it popped up to 24 at 0600 for reasons I can't explain.


The wind causes mixing of the air. A warmer layer got mixed down.
537. MahFL
Quoting 535. tampabaymatt:

It was about 4 to 5 degrees warmer this morning in Tampa than forecasted. I believe the reason is due to the persistent El Nino jet shown in the water vapor loop bringing us high clouds. Local mets continue to completely discount the impact of this day after day. Even this morning, they were saying the high clouds should push away from the area. Doesn't seem like that will be the case so tonight should be warmer than forecasted also




Yes they stayed away from me, I went down to 31F, 2F colder than forecast here in Orange Park. Yesterday we were 1F colder than forecast, which makes a change from always being warmer than forecast.
I'll believe we get more than 4" of snow in the DMV when I am shoveling it.
Quoting 524. Tornado6042008X:

52+inches in WVA. LOL
Since the origins of this low is continental, and the low will be close to, if not somewhat inland from the coast as it advances north, the mountains of West Virginia have a better than even chance of seeing snow in the 2 to 3 foot range, with some isolated spots at 4 feet not being out of the question. This is the kind of storm that should make East Coast skiers happy next week.
Quoting 538. 1Zach1:

I'll believe we get more than 4" of snow in the DMV when I am shoveling it.
If it was just one run of a model I would agree,however the professional mets say the upper air dynamics are similar to storms in the past that have produced substantial amounts here in the DMV.The Euro,GFS,UKMET,JMA and CMC all show double digit (and in this case) historic amounts.They seem to be locked in agreement that someone in the mid-atlantic will score big.Things could change sure but at this moment I'm preparing for worst case scenario and hoping for the best.
541. MahFL
This apparently is the genesis of the east coast storm, currently off the coast of Oregon.

Quoting 536. MahFL:



The wind causes mixing of the air. A warmer layer got mixed down.
That would be a good explanation except for the fact the wind was dead calm all night. I'm just getting some 2 to 4 mph winds now, and the temperature has risen to 28. A more likely explanation is some low level warmer air from near the surface of Lake Eufaula drifted west and gave me a little temperature increase.
Quoting 535. tampabaymatt:

It was about 4 to 5 degrees warmer this morning in Tampa than forecasted. I believe the reason is due to the persistent El Nino jet shown in the water vapor loop bringing us high clouds. Local mets continue to completely discount the impact of this day after day. Even this morning, they were saying the high clouds should push away from the area. Doesn't seem like that will be the case so tonight should be warmer than forecasted also


No high clouds here, so my forecast low of 25 turned into an actual low of 22. It probably didn't hurt that the humidity remained low overnight either. Nice and sunny now, but it sure doesn't feel like Alabama outside this morning.
Need to watch this evolution as a new Kelvin Wave is rapidly building very deep at around 200m below the Central Pacific. This could have a major implication going forward and could keep El-Nino going thru July maybe further. Something to watch as this El-Nino may not want to go away. Also below is the latest CFSv2 run as it keeps indicating possible El-Nino into October.

New Kelvin Wave


CFSv2 has weak El-Nino for October on it latest runs.
Quoting 527. sar2401:

Good morning. It has gone from nippy to downright cold in SE Alabama this morning. The low was 22 at 0500 but it popped up to 24 at 0600 for reasons I can't explain. Still have a north wind so it doesn't seem like any warm air advection has started yet. I guess it's just some local variation. We're still the relative warm spot though compared to Birmingham at 20 and Alexander City at 18.

Things turn a little nasty for the next four or five days here. Another shortwave carrying more cold air comes through tonight. That should put our low down to about 25 again tomorrow morning. After that, WAA really does start in earnest ahead of the next front on Thursday. Looks like a high of about 68 on Thursday with showers and thunderstorms. The SPC is carrying a marginal risk of severe storms west of us in Mississippi. We'll have to watch to see if the destabilization here increases during the day. This is the same system that will bring snow to the East Coast Saturday and Sunday.

After Thursday, things start to get a bit messy here, as the timing between precipitation and the arrival of more cold air ensues. These are the kinds of mesoscale details models aren't good at, so the real transition zone will be an hour by hour thing Friday night and Saturday morning. It looks like the southern limits of anything frozen will be about from Clanton over to Alagirl's house in Opelika. I should be too warm for anything frozen. The further north, the nastier it will get, with the possibility that areas up around Huntsville will get enough ice and snow to cause some accumulations and travel problems. All in all, some interesting weather days coming up for the entire East Coast as winter really settles in.
Oh yeah..Let the dogs out in the wee hours with 6 degrees and a light north wind...shoulda let them hold it//:)
546. ariot
Quoting 526. washingtonian115:

GFS piles on the snow with the second storm and shows up to 60 inches in total here in the mid-atlantic on 10 day map


Hide your kids. Hide your wife.

If we get 12" here between B'more and Philly, I ain't going out.
Quoting 540. washingtonian115:

If it was just one run of a model I would agree,however the professional mets say the upper air dynamics are similar to storms in the past that have produced substantial amounts here in the DMV.The Euro,GFS,UKMET,JMA and CMC all show double digit (and in this case) historic amounts.They seem to be locked in agreement that someone in the mid-atlantic will score big.Things could change sure but at this moment I'm preparing for worst case scenario and hoping for the best.

Oh I am getting everything prepped just in case, I'm just not getting my hopes up to a large snow fall.
Quoting 545. hydrus:

Oh yeah..Let the dogs out in the wee hours with 6 degrees and a light north wind...shoulda let them hold it//:)
Imagine being the dogs though. I don't do well with...uh...bodily functions when I'm out in the cold. :-)
Nobody knows....

Not a bad pattern if it verifies

Quoting 509. barbamz:

To add at least something to the blog topic, here a nice cartoon with some interesting cultural informations:


How did clouds get their names? Youtube 24.11.2015
The study of clouds has always been a daydreamer%u2019s science, aptly founded by a thoughtful young man whose favorite activity was staring out of the window at the sky. Richard Hamblyn tells the history of Luke Howard, the man who classified the clouds and forever changed humanity%u2019s understanding of these changeable, mysterious objects.


Have a nice day, everyone!
Thanks very much for that, Barb! That video should also be part of the digital atlas.
Doug Kammerer Retweeted TerpWeather
And that is possible western zones. Even DC early on. Also just looked at wind gusts. Euro to 50 knots in DC. Wow
Quoting 543. sar2401:

No high clouds here, so my forecast low of 25 turned into an actual low of 22. It probably didn't hurt that the humidity remained low overnight either. Nice and sunny now, but it sure doesn't feel like Alabama outside this morning.
I wonder how much of that jet get drawn into the projected system...I would make a big difference if it did not. there would still be a storm, but maybe not as wet so to speak
Quoting 553. washingtonian115:

Doug Kammerer Retweeted TerpWeather
And that is possible western zones. Even DC early on. Also just looked at wind gusts. Euro to 50 knots in DC. Wow


We will most likely have Blizzard Watches -> Blizzard Warnings. Blizzard conditions be favorable closer to the closer where there is less frictional decrease of wind speeds.
Looks like some moisture does get entertained into the system..



Second system looks pleasant too..

Quoting 545. hydrus:

Oh yeah..Let the dogs out in the wee hours with 6 degrees and a light north wind...shoulda let them hold it//:)


My mother, from MN had a great Dane when she was a kid and one of her stories was of having to push the dog out the door to do her business. The picture of two people pushing a Great Dane "with all four brakes on" outside remained lifelong humorous.

My dogs just hurry more to get done when it's cold. But one also doesn't like gray and humid assuming this means rain and he hates rain even though he's a LAB

Quoting 509. barbamz:

To add at least something to the blog topic, here a nice cartoon with some interesting cultural informations:


How did clouds get their names? Youtube 24.11.2015
The study of clouds has always been a daydreamer%u2019s science, aptly founded by a thoughtful young man whose favorite activity was staring out of the window at the sky. Richard Hamblyn tells the history of Luke Howard, the man who classified the clouds and forever changed humanity%u2019s understanding of these changeable, mysterious objects.


Have a nice day, everyone!
Thanks for posting that video, Barb. I remember reading about Luke Howard in a very old book my grandmother gave me about clouds when I was a kid. It must have been published in about 1915, and it had at least 50 pages of plates with photos of different cloud types. They were the old large format glass plate photography and, even though it was black and white, the detail of the photos was amazing. I used to study them endlessly. I don't remember the author, but he had a page with Howard's history and his contribution to cloud classification. He was not the first person to suggest classifying clouds, but he was the first to do so in Latin, the then universal language of science. That's how we ended up with all these Latin names 200 years later. His life story does show how a talented amateur can advance the cause of science.
Quoting 544. StormTrackerScott:

Need to watch this evolution as a new Kelvin Wave is rapidly building very deep at around 200m below the Central Pacific. This could have a major implication going forward and could keep El-Nino going thru July maybe further. Something to watch as this El-Nino may not want to go away. Also below is the latest CFSv2 run as it keeps indicating possible El-Nino into October.

New Kelvin Wave


CFSv2 has weak El-Nino for October on it latest runs.




whats not get a head of are self here you where right about your super EL Nino now whats take thing month by month
556. hydrus
9:15 AM EST on January 19, 2016
The GFS has the second system being a long duration event as well.
Back when Snowmageddon hit, we got nearly 4' of snow. There was this ~10 ft high snow drift that was on a hill and it stayed there for weeks. It became climbable/frozen and me, my brother, and my friends on the street played King of the Hill, pushing eachother off, and throwing snowballs to get the person off.. That's gotta be my favorite snow moment, and possibly my favorite childhood memory. I don't remember ever having so much fun. I was in 5th grade, now I'm in 11th, and I want that to happen again, regardless my age.
562. JRRP

Quoting 554. hydrus:

I wonder how much of that jet get drawn into the projected system...I would make a big difference if it did not. there would still be a storm, but maybe not as wet so to speak
Good question. The forecast 300 mb jet stream for 00z Saturday shows the northern branch diving all the way down to south Alabama before joining the subtropical jet. Both more or less merge as they transport the low north and then OTS. A wiggle east or west is going to have a big effect on the track of the low and how much snow gets deposited on the East Coast. It's a good thing to watch as we get closer to the event.

Ian Livingston ‏@islivingston 6m6 minutes ago
Reminder: gusts around DC shown are basically equivalent to a severe thunderstorm.
Quoting 557. georgevandenberghe:



My mother, from MN had a great Dane when she was a kid and one of her stories was of having to push the dog out the door to do her business. The picture of two people pushing a Great Dane "with all four brakes on" outside remained lifelong humorous.

My dogs just hurry more to get done when it's cold. But one also doesn't like gray and humid assuming this means rain and he hates rain even though he's a LAB


Radar Dog is OK with rain - as long as there's no lightning. I let him out earlier this year during some what I thought was just rain. He has to go down the stairs from the deck to reach grass. A big cloud to ground lightning strike hit just as he reached the lower step. I don't know how he did it, but he turned and launched himself up the steps. I never actually saw his feet touch a step, but he came flying by me with enough speed to almost knock me over. If there was a dog Olympics, he definitely would have won the 5 meter dash that day. :-)
Quoting 564. washingtonian115:

Ian Livingston ‏@islivingston 6m6 minutes ago
Reminder: gusts around DC shown are basically equivalent to a severe thunderstorm.


lol.......
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting 564. washingtonian115:

Ian Livingston ‏@islivingston 6m6 minutes ago
Reminder: gusts around DC shown are basically equivalent to a severe thunderstorm.
Yep..Pressure gradient should have affect with this one.
Quoting 560. washingtonian115:

556. hydrus
9:15 AM EST on January 19, 2016
The GFS has the second system being a long duration event as well.
May mean that the NAO will not go into positive territory. Kinda west based anyway.
Quoting 125. sar2401:

For at least the next seven days, the weather looks pretty nominal. Daytime highs will be a little higher than average with nighttime lows being right at or a little above average. Lots of warm air advection in advance of the next Pacific storm, so that should translate into some more rain, maybe a half-inch or so. The wind will, of course, remain from breezy to downright windy over the next two days. Starts to quiet down after that until maybe Saturday, when a colder storm works its way across the mountains. That's probably your first chance for colder than normal temperatures and accumulating snowfall. It won't be a good time to drive across the hill to visit friends or try to get to the ski areas though.


Yeah, I know better than to go roadtripping this kind of winter. :)

I'm not seeing much post-Saturday, but it's just waiting for more information. Thank you!
Quoting 475. washingtonian115:

Ian Livingston %u200F@islivingston 8m8 minutes ago
Precip max still bouncing around and specifics aside... These numbers continue to leave me in awe.

Ian Livingston %u200F@islivingston 3m3 minutes ago
Only three 12" snowstorms in DC with over 2" liquid equiv. 1/27-28/1922 (28"/2.81"), 2/11-13/1899 (20.5"/2.08"), 3/27-28/1891 (12"/2.44")

Ryan Maue %u200F@RyanMaue 6m6 minutes ago Colorado, USA
GFS 00z dumps 30-36" wind driven snow with blockbuster blizzard for the ages this weekend. Crippling impacts


That we have historical record of??

What about the older historical storms? Is there any way to tell what the estimates were beforehand??
Quoting 561. Articuno:

Back when Snowmageddon hit, we got nearly 4' of snow. There was this ~10 ft high snow drift that was on a hill and it stayed there for weeks. It became climbable/frozen and me, my brother, and my friends on the street played King of the Hill, pushing eachother off, and throwing snowballs to get the person off.. That's gotta be my favorite snow moment, and possibly my favorite childhood memory. I don't remember ever having so much fun. I was in 5th grade, now I'm in 11th, and I want that to happen again, regardless my age.

Add a sled named ROSEBUD and this reads like the favorite memory Citizen Kane had at an advanced age, his deathbed actually.
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It's all fun as a kid with big snows. I recall a day when.....