Wednesday, September 28

Weatherman or Sailor

The more that I sail, the more that I learn about the clouds to forecast what to prepare.  Most every day or event planned this year, the weather forecasted was wrong or late.  We canceled or changed some of our gatherings because of the forecasted storms.  We can take the wind but the lightning I am more cautious.

A month ago we were out sailing in the bay.  The winds were perfect blowing about 15 knots from the east.  As we edged passed the line of cloud front, the winds stopped dead.  We had to turn on the engine and pull in the sails, but the chop on the water was still high for no wind.  We head back, and the winds picked back up under the clouds.

Sailors hear
  • "Mare tails and fish scales sailors furl your sails"
  • "Rainbow to windward, foul fall the day; rainbow to leeward, rain runs away"
  • For the barometer watchers, "quick rise after low, often portends a stronger blow"
  • "Red sky at night a sailor's delight, red sky at dawn sailor take warning"
Types of clouds: translated
High-Level over 20,000 ft
  1. Cirrus (curl of hair, mare tails)
  2. Cirrostratus (curls of hair, layered)
  3. Cirro-cumulus: mackerel (fish scales) develop from cirrus clouds beginning to lower and clump together. Due to high altitude, they have a dappled look, and a silvery sheen. 
  4. Vertical Development, lift up to 39,000 ft: fair weather cumulus (heap, looks like puffs of cotton) and cumulonimbus (heaps with rain)
  5. contrails: frozen water droplets in a matter of seconds before they can evaporate 
Mid-Level 6,500-20,000 ft
  1. altocumulus (middle heap)
  2. altostratus (middle layered)
Low-Level under 6,500 ft
  1. nimbostratus (rain layed) 
  2. stratocumulus (layed heap)
  1. billow: row of horizontal eddies aligned within this layer of vertical shear
  2. mammatus: pouch-like structures and clouds in sinking air, worst of the weather is over
  3. orographic: develop in response to the forced lifting of air by the earth's topography
  4. pileus: skullcap
  5. lenticular
  6. supercell
Clouds are quickly rolling in at HYC in September 2016
Cloud Diagrams from UCAR Center

White caps on Sunday afternoon late summer storm by HYC harbor in Wussie Bay

Storm Front over Barbour Channel

Weather conditions on Willamette River, August 2016 in Portland, Oregon

Weather conditions from the Oasis Texas Brewery, September 2016 in Lakeway, Texas over Lake Travis
Ground view of lake and sky from Hippy Hollow
Check out Chris Parker, Marine Weather Center

No comments:

Post a Comment