Monday, March 2, 2015

1533 Long Reaching Deformation Zone

The large arc of cloud is the leading edge of the warm conveyor belt approaching from the southwest. I was canoeing down current along Long Reach headed for Chip's Elbow. The simple arched cloud shape reveals the weather that was to unfold during the next couple of days. It may not be rocket science but I find the atmosphere to be pretty interesting. The chilly easterly inflow to the approaching storm was already giving me a bit of a tail wind. It would mean that my paddle back home would be a better work-out than my paddle outbound.

Notice the banding in the stable layer that must be perpendicular to the wind direction. If you watch the motion of these gravity wave clouds, you can discern where the col of the deformation zone must be. If the gravity waves are moving progressively downstream (generally eastward) the col must be upstream of your location. Conversely if the gravity waves are stationary or moving even upstream (generally westward) to you location on the ground, the col must lie downstream. The trick is to determine the wind direction in the atmosphere relative to the mean or average motion of the clouds comprising the warm conveyor belt. This analysis might take some time and more than one beverage. Good luck!

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