Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sunset Deformation

The colours of a sunset only last a few minutes and they are always changing. The stable layer under the subsidence ridge in the lower atmosphere was creating gravity waves in the deck of stratocumulus. The bands of cloud were perpendicular to the southeasterly winds at cloud level - just like waves on the water. The edge of this layer of moisture was as sharp as a knife on the western horizon and clearly had to be a deformation zone. As a meteorological approximation, streamlines are very closely approximated by isobars in a slowly changing pressure pattern. I do not have access to streamlines at every level anymore - in fact, I never did. This approximation allowed me to analyze the low level deformation zone responsible for the moisture edge and one can see that the correlation is pretty close. Singleton is northeast of Lake Ontario and just eastward and on the cloudy side of the green, double-headed deformation zone line. There is a good reason for every line and pattern in the atmosphere. Careful science can reveal that reason and yield a better understanding of the atmosphere in the process.
The colours were gone in ten minutes along with the setting sun.

1 comment:

wendyytb said...

Every time I visit your blog, I learn something new. I will never look at clouds in the same way again!

Lovely painting!