"Chance of Showers! You Don't Say!"

FTLComm - Tisdale
June 10, 1999

Over the past week we have been into a pattern of cumulus clouds developing each day into light showers. The interesting thing about this condition is that we have some pretty cold air aloft and the rapid day time heating from the very bright sunlight produces the updrafts carrying moist air into the

cool atmosphere where it condenses as fluffy clouds. Since the vertical movement is quite strong and the air aloft well below freezing this produces some dynamic weather conditions and yesterday throughout the prairies many rotary clouds were spotted though none were reported to have moved from their horizontal position to that of vertical where they would then be described as a funnel cloud or tornado.

The panorama below is a very interesting one because it actually reveals more about the turbulent weather then was apparent as one looked around. In this image you can see all of the elements of minor showers from "virga" the trailing precipitation that is falling from a cloud but is not reaching the surface to all the remnants of showers that are over and those that are about to occur. This vertical development is drastically restricted in height because of the very cold air in the upper atmosphere which prevents the grand and potentially dangerous Nimbus clouds with their anvil appearance.

Because the camera was angled upward to make these twenty-seven pictures that make up this panorama (QuickTime is required to see this image) the horizon is distorted in many locations. Remember to use the "control" key to zoom out and the "shift" key to zoom in to see the scene from different perspectives. To move around the sky just use your mouse.

This panorama was shot just West of Tisdale and to orient your self, you are looking due South before you move the image but if you get lost the close bunch of trees between the Tisdale Alfalfa Dehydration plant and the van is almost due North.

Ensign - Faster Than Light Communications® - timothy@ftlcomm.com - 306 873 2004 - fax 306 873 2155