I was looking at the satellite imagery this afternoon and saw some things worth sharing. First of all, you can watch clouds develop as winds interact with the plateau. Notice that skies are clearer to our west and to our east. Once winds hit the higher elevation of our plateau, they are forced to rise, which leads to cloud development. Any time air rises it cools. That cooling of the air leads to condensation, which displays itself as clouds. It’s like when you blow hot air out of your mouth and into colder air. You make a little cloud when your breath condenses in the colder air.
Also,notice those darker streaks in the clouds, esp over Middle TN. Those are jet contrails leaving shadows on the clouds. Pretty cool, huh?
Also, over the northern Gulf of Mexico the subtropical jet stream is absolutely screaming from southwest to northeast, right over the northern Gulf. Meanwhile, winds at the surface are flowing westward around a surface high. The conflicting winds are causing some very interesting cloud motions on satellite this afternoon!
Then, there’s a storm off the New England coastline producing some unique cloud patterns, as cold air from land flows atop the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream Current. We call these linear cloud features cloud streets.
Finally, water vapor imagery just looks so darn cool this afternoon I wanted to share that as well! This imagery shows you the movement of water vapor. The coolest thing about this time of year is that so many different air masses are always on the move. You just can’t have a boring weather day in January!
Notice how well the subtropical jet stream shows up on water vapor imagery! That jet stream is at a lower altitude than the polar jet stream and it tends to be loaded with moisture from both the Pacific and the Gulf.
These are just some things I wanted to share! And if you’re geeking out over these images you’re not alone. Geek away! haha
You all have a great afternoon and keep looking up!