Calm…After the Storm

The only real threat of moisture this week lies on Wednesday as a front passes through. There is a possibility some showers will remain into Thursday, but not the highest at the moment. Temperatures will stall out in the lower 80s at least until the weekend.

Looking at the tropics today, little has developed. Tropical Storm Gert formed in the North Atlantic, but he poses no threat to the US mainland as it spins eastward with 45mph winds. A little patch of instability over the Eastern Caribbean is the other hot spot, but only has a slight risk of development at this time.

Moved back to CMU a few days ago, but leaving was an exciting event. The night before, a squall line formed and produced high winds, penny sized hail, random lightning, and a spectacular shelf cloud. To experienced weather hunters, shelf clouds are not the most exciting cloud formation. Usually a vertical swirling vortex is. I’ll deal with what I get until that fateful day arrives. Until then, I will continue to oogle over cloud droplets condensing right in front of my eyes.

Shot hand-held, real time elapsed is just 5 seconds on burst mode. Check out the cloud condensing on the front edge of the cloud.

This behemoth moved through, and then the weather radio went screaming of tornado warning.  Reports were that it was radar indicated, so it may have just been the rapidly developing shelf cloud triggering some atmospheric trickery. It is not unusual to see rotation along the edge or ragged underneath of the shelf cloud. I think I saw one of those and immediately went to the computer to evaluate. Looking at the picture I took, an ominous cloud far in the distance looks awfully low. Perhaps this was the warned portion, but looking into it further, there were no reports of funnels.

Outflow from the squall line spawned a storm right above my area before the line actually moved through. I was expecting to have a half hours worth of time to prepare, but a very close lightning strike proved that when the sky looks the least bit hairy, you should take cover.

A neat thing after the storm passed was checking my weather station history and noting a 20 degree drop in temperature, from 81 to 61. Also recorded was a wind gust of 31, but this may not be the highest that occurred due to a 2.5 second update interval.

Personal weather station graphs of the day. Note the sharp differences indicating the passing of the storm.

However, I think one of the coolest sights I have ever saw happened with the passage of this storm. Taking an earlier picture, you will notice ground fog in the distance. This was the result of the pre-frontal storm firing and passing through.

Early form of shelf cloud, fog in distance.

When the gust front/actual squall line passed through, I could see the fog being lifted upwards. I imagine with the rapid condensation noted at the front of the shelf cloud, that this could just be more water condensing. The fog indicated high winds coming through no longer than a minute later.

To top the day off, a wonderful sunset.

Peachy sunset ending the day.


About gweatherc
Live in Michigan and enjoy observing the weather. Want to pursue it as a career! Currently taking classes at Central Michigan University.

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