Thursday, 21 January 2016

Passing Clouds

This post was catalysed by seeing some pretty cirrus clouds on our dog walk on the morning of 19 January.

The reference to Passing Clouds caused me to recall a brand of gasper which was part of mythology in my UK youth.  It has been hard to find out much about them on the 'net beyond:
  • the fact that they were made by the Wills company, first produced in 1874 (whereas the more famous Woodbines only started in 1913); 
  • they were oval in shape, thus causing any oval fag (eg an Embassy that had been sat on) to be called a Passing Cloud: and
  • they seem to have gone out of production now.
Back to the less carcinogenic lumps of aerial water vapour.

For the COG walk on the 20th much (unphotogenic)  cloud was around at the start of the walk which kept things nice and cool.  Much the same for our dog walk on the 21st, although it did begin to heat up thereafter.

About 2pm  everything clouded over and and we scored 4.8mm of rain in about 5 minutes.  Hmmm: that wasn't forecast.  It dropped the temperature from 33oC to 24 o so I thought I'd go for a short run to collect some stuff from a friend's house.  I hadn't been there long when I noticed clouds (possibly photogenic but I didn't have my camera) coming over and hearing rumbles.  So I beat a retreat: getting nearly back home before the rain started to come down heavily.  Fortunately St Frances of Jetta appeared at that point so I was home before the next 8mm got delivered.

Here is some after-cloud from the 21st.
A couple of years ago I was at a presentation by a BoM forecaster who admitted that forecasting wasn't totally predictable and said "I reckon to make one massive mistake a year."  Given that today's estimated fall was 1-4 mm with (so far 12.4 mm delivered), and taken in conjunction with last weeks "up to 100 mm"  which turned into 9 mm I think they have got in early this year.

Since posting the above, the clouds have stopped passing delivering 12.6mm both days, with more coming for the next week.  We are now just 5mm below the 9 year average fall for the month.

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