Monday, April 27, 2015

1575 Singleton Sunset Stratocumulus

The clouds change by the minute. This shape-shifter attribute of clouds can be good if you are a curious artist or simply an observer. You just have to wait a few minutes and there is another "seen" to be played with. This is a similar view of the southwesterly streets of stratocumulus depicted in #1574 "Cloud Street Sunset" - but just a few minutes later.
The accompanying graphic describes the meteorology of parallel streets of stratocumulus clouds in an unstable planetary boundary level. It also explains why the bands get further apart and weaken due to friction as the sun sets and the daytime heating instability dissipates. Think of the circulations as three dimensional helical coils ( a slinky) with the updraft branch supporting the formation of the cloud and the downdraft branch enforcing the clear skies in between the cloud streets. The slinky comparison is actually quite appropriate.

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