Category Archives: Weather

Altostratus Undulatus Or Gravity Wave Clouds?

Yesterday afternoon, from horizon to horizon, the high level clouds were lined up like rows.

I’ve seen this before, but there are two types of clouds that can form this way – altostratus undulatus clouds or gravity wave clouds.

“Gravity wave” clouds sound just absolutely bitchin’ and when I first heard the term I was hoping it was a manifest, macro-scale effect in our atmosphere from the sort of gravity waves that are just now being detected from colliding black holes. I wanted an unbelievably huge release of energy a hundred thousand years ago and a hundred thousand light years away to making patterns in our sky.

It doesn’t.

Instead, “gravity wave” clouds are formed the same way that the wind whipping over the ocean forms ocean waves. It’s a matter of buoyancy differences in a fluid in motion causing oscillations in the fluid flow. Still cool, but not black-hole-collision-drawing-patterns-in-our-sky cool.

This could also be (and most likely are) altostratus undulatus clouds, which are wispy clouds of ice, high in the atmosphere, which forms bands like this as they flow over mountains or coastlines which disrupt the smooth flow of a weather front. We had a a front moving in, there’s a coastline over to our west, and these are wispy clouds of ice, high in the atmosphere.

My money’s on altostratus undulatus.

Either way – cool looking clouds.

And if you click on them and blow them up to full-sized, can you see the tiny sliver of the crescent moon in the upper left corner of one?

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Filed under Photography, Weather

No ISS Pass Tonight Again

It was solid overcast for the second night in a row (the pretty picture above is from a few days ago, it was MUCH cloudier tonight) so again we were unable to view the really tasty ISS pass that was going overhead.

Our next play at the Ahmanson got cancelled due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Our next concert at the Disney got cancelled due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Working from home is a disconcerting change which I could live without. It doesn’t help that, with our office (and city, and state) now completely shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the workload and stress and deadlines have shut up.

I wanted to download and start playing Doom Eternal, but I find that my five-year-old computer, which works just FINE for what I use it for 99.9999% of the time, has a five-year-old graphics card that won’t even start to keep up with what’s needed for a new game. (Bad words were said.)

Yet we soldier on.

One foot in front of the other.

The only way out is through.

Truly – what are the other options? I’m open to suggestion.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Space, Weather

Turns Out The End Of The World Can Be Quite Beautiful

At least, if you’re willing to stand out in the rain coming from that big thunderhead that you can just see the edge of at the top third of the picture. While hoping that any nearby lightning chooses one of those tall trees across the street to hit instead of you.

Some days it’s good to be only 5’6″ soaking wet.

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Filed under Photography, Weather

Big Planes In The Rain

Bombers and cargo planes.

AAF’s B-25 “Executive Sweet”

CAF SoCal’s C-46 “China Doll”

CAF SoCal’s PBJ “Semper Fi”

Clouds, drizzle, cold, and occasional downpours courtesy of a dark and suck-filled timeline.


Filed under CAF, Flying, Photography, Weather

A Hole In The Clouds Between Downpours

It’s wet out there. A little late in the season, but it was a dry, DRY February, so we’ll take it!

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Filed under Photography, Weather


It’s hard to do right now. Focusing. Prioritizing. Thinking straight.

What a day, huh? The NBA is shut down. Dozens, if not hundreds, of universities and colleges have shut down. The NCAA’s March Madness, if played at all, will be played in empty arenas. The Mango Mussolini stumbles his way through a teleprompter speech that wouldn’t get a C- from a fourth-grade composition class, makes at least three world-class errors or misstatements in it, looks like death warmed over, and instead of rallying the country it causes a drop of 1,000 points in the overnight futures market, which means that tomorrow’s opening is expected to be a blood bath in a market already over 20% off of it’s highs of just two weeks ago.

Oh, yeah. And people are starting to die. There are worst case scenarios that have over a million dead Americans, and people already arguing over whether or not they’re actually the worst case.

It’s hard to focus, to act, to think, to not be paralyzed.

A few years back, when I was becoming unemployed for the first time in my life and not sure what the hell was coming, one of my biggest fears was the potential for ennui, for depression, for falling off the planet and not knowing how to get back on. So I started keeping track of the simple things and forcing myself to hold myself accountable. I still might fall off the planet, but at least it wouldn’t be a surprise when it happened. And the process itself, the data, the lists, helped to steer me in the right direction and not lose my way.

Somewhere early in that process I started this website. It’s never been profound, or popular, or whatever else it might have been supposed to be, but it has been an anchor. In the almost seven years since I’ve started, I’m not sure there are ten days in which I’ve missed posting something. It might have just been a picture or a lame observation or something incredibly witty and clever that no one on the planet ever noticed or read – but it got posted.

At about 03:00 last night I woke up and realized that I hadn’t pushed the “Publish” button on yesterday’s article. Nor did I get up at 03:01 and go do that. And I missed posting about four days ago just because…I forgot.

That’s one symptom. There are plenty of others. None fatal. Not super critical. None involve the fate of the world. But they’re bothersome.

As the shit hits the fan, if I get sick, or if others around me get sick, there may be days I don’t post because of that. That’s okay – I’m not Superman. But while I and my family and friends are still not sick, it would be nice to still be on top of things and in control (yes, I’m well aware that it’s a “control issue”) and not seeing little cracks in the dam.

Yesterday’s post?

It was about the thunderheads roaming the area.


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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Photography, Weather

Racing The Storm

Today it was back to clear and a million, but yesterday there were showers about. When we give rides at the CAF safety is our number one concern, so we don’t fly in any sort of threatening or inclement weather. But yesterday the main line of storms was still about 100 miles to the north and what we had locally was widely scattered and light, so we got our scheduled ride in. But it looked dramatic.

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Filed under CAF, Photography, Weather