Friday, April 13, 2012

CSI Applied to Tom Thomson Garage Sale Painting

The meteorological solution to this painting is that Tom is looking southeasterly after sunrise in the late summer. A large synoptic scale storm is approaching from the west through southwest – from his back. Tom is in the warm sector of this storm and temperatures are above the normal values for that time of year. Note that this is confirmed by the absence of a cold conveyor belt. The water is warm. The surface winds will increase sharply and dramatically when the radiational inversion is broken down through both daytime heating and turbulence effects. Southerly wave action will increase sharply which is not much of a stretch since it is currently calm! I would expect winds to be greater than 15 knots (conservative) with white caps a certainty. Streets of stratocumulus will develop aligned parallel with these southerly winds when the planetary boundary layer becomes convectively unstable by noon. Convection will develop where these cloud streets intersect the warm front which is displace to the north (left). There will be ample sunshine between these streets of turbulent/convective stratocumulus. The amount of sunshine will increase with the daytime temperature and the rising bases of these streets of stratocumulus. The only threat for precipitation will be with the associated cold front which is some distance to the west – behind Tom.

Am I sure? Absolutely not! I am making all of this up based on a fuzzy image and the science of forensic meteorology. I call this CSI or creative scene investigation.  There are exceptions to every deduction. However when one looks at the evidence, the more pieces that can be assembled from the clues and the more that these pieces fit neatly together into the puzzle, the more confidence one can have that the deductions depicted in the image are sound.

More importantly, Tom had fun and there were probably no biting insects!

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