Fair weather is on its way when we look to the sky and see altocumulus clouds, or what some refer to as ripple clouds.
Thankfully, the Lower Mainland has seen very few such clouds during the past few week, although there are threats of at least a few moving in and offering showers for Friday.
The Government of Canada weather station says there’s a 30-per-cent chance of rain overnight tonight, with a low to only 14 C.
That’s followed by a similar 30-per-cent chance of showers early Friday morning, with clearing near noon.
The high for Friday is expected to get up to 21. Then, the sun is expected to stick around for Saturday, Sunday, and through until at last Monday with highs of about 29 C inland.
The sun is coming up at about 5:30 a.m., it’s now setting at about 9 p.m.
While chances are still relatively slim that we’ll see precipitation tomorrow, there are many gardeners out there who would be happy to see a little liquid sunshine.
What do you see when you look upward towards the heavens?
Are you one who hunts for white silhouetted shapes against the blue sky?
Do you see a horse in full gallop, a duck swimming through the clouds, a child chasing a ball?
Well, you’re not alone.
Others look to the sky and ponder more philosophical or ideological questions.
Have you ever looked skyward and wonder why clouds are white?
Here’s just a little bit of cloud trivia courtesy of the National Meteorological Library & Archive.
Clouds are white because light from the sun is white.
As light passes through a cloud, it interacts with the water droplets, which are much bigger than the atmospheric particles that exist in the sky.
When sunlight reaches an atmospheric particle in the sky, blue light is scattered away more strongly than other colours, giving the impression that the sky is blue.
But in a cloud, sunlight is scattered by much larger water droplets.
These scatter all colours almost equally, meaning that the sunlight continues to remain white and so making the clouds appear white against the background of the blue sky.
Thanks to the meteorological service in the U.K. for helping explain this.
They also tell us that altocumulus clouds, like the one in the picture, are generally associated with settled weather and will normally appear white or grey with shading, at a height of 7,000 to 18,000 feet above the earth.
Altocumulus clouds are small mid-level layers or patches of clouds, called cloudlets, which most commonly exist in the shape of rounded clumps.
There are many varieties of altocumulus, however, meaning they can appear in a range of shapes.
Altocumulus are made up of a mix of ice and water, giving them a slightly more ethereal appearance than the big and fluffy lower level cumulus.
What weather is associated with altocumulus clouds?
Mostly found in settled weather, altocumulus clouds are usually composed of droplets, but may also contain ice crystals. Precipitation from these clouds is rare.
For all of you wanting to hit the water or soak up some rays this weekend, that sounds promising. For the gardeners out there, maybe not so much.
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