Friday, June 05, 2009

Lifting Effect

Lifted CloudsThe cutoff low that I mentioned before is now to the northwest of us and the winds are from the lower left of this satellite image to the upper right. The lacy clouds are upper level clouds driven by the southern jet stream, which has moved up and is starting to steer the low. The others are at lower level, are associated with that cutoff low, and contain much more moisture. To get that moisture to form clouds, though, the air needs to be cooled or lifted. Over the coast general atmospheric instability is creating some little puffy clouds, but look what happens where the flow of moist air hits the 4000' mountains to the west of us. This is not really all that unusual, but stuff like this always strikes me as really cool.

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