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A Cloud Primer
There's an old radio adage that "the pictures are clearer in the theater of the mind," and I've always thought it's absolute nonsense. Radio is intimate and immediate — perfect for storytelling — but let's be honest: the pictures are better when you can actually see them. So since on tomorrow's Northwest weather show we'll get into, among other things, how to read clouds, we figured it might be good to put up some examples so you can actually see what we're talking about.
We'll have our guest, Cliff Mass, explain what they are — and what they portend — on the show. (These are all Creative Commons-licensed photos from the magic world of Flickr.)
Here's the sky over Washington's Camano Island (photo by Hunter):
Cliff's take: "puffy, fair-weather cumulus. Fairly shallow, not precipitating, and pretty benign."
Here's the Oregon Coast (photo by mercurialn):
Cliff's take: this is coastal fog, as well as higher "altocumulus clouds." When Emily asked the difference between fog and clouds, he told us that fog is a cloud... just lower down.
Here's a photo from an unnamed place in Oregon, taken by Codebender:
Cliff's take: these are lenticular clouds, or "mountain wave clouds," and they began the UFO craze in the 1940s.
And a final example. An overcast sky taken from the cockpit of a plane landing at PDX (photo by thatguyeric):
Cliff's take: stratocumulus, the "number-one cloud of the Northwest."
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