Sit. Rep. #77: Under the Weather

1- Here is a good fishing knot to know.  This knot, the Palomar knot seems very easy and is used to tie on a fishing hook. Steps:

  •   A- Make a bight of your fishing line or leader.
  •   B- Thread the hook eye onto the bight.  (the eye must have both sides ( the standing and the tag) of the bight for this knot to work)
  •   C- Take the downstream loop from the bight and thread the whole fish hook through the bight loop.
  •   D- Tie an overhand knot with the bight above the eye
  •   E- Then put the hook back thru the bight
  •   F- Dress the knot above the hook’s eye.  And trim the (tag) end off.
  •   YouTube link

1B- I just learned of “braided fishing line.”  Stronger than monofilament.  I have not tried it fishing yet.  But it did a wonderful job of holding some buttons that I sewed back onto my pants.

A- What did one raindrop say to another raindrop?
B- Twos company & threes a cloud.

2- Almost all of the weather that we experience is down here in the troposphere.  And some is in the Jet Streams up in the tropopause.
   A pharmacist in England named Luke Howard developed a method and language to classify clouds.  He used Latin names to describe what he saw in 1803.  His classification is still used today.

  •    A- Cumulus: A heap, pile, or mound – convective clouds
  •    B-  Stratus: Spread or strewn-layered clouds
  •    C- Cirrus: Filament, hair-like – fibrous clouds
  •    D- Nimbus: Rain, precipitation – Storm clouds

3- Clouds form at many different altitudes.  Fog is a cloud that touches the ground.  They both are formed the same way by coalescing water molecules into droplets or ice.

G- Where do lightning bolts go on a date?
H- Cloud 9.

4- Clouds are also classified by altitude:  Low, mid or middle, and high.

   A- Cumulus clouds are formed at low altitudes by hot air rising and may produce light showers.  Think floating cotton balls when you see them.

   B- Stratus clouds have a higher altitude base than cumulus clouds and can produce prodigious precipitation.  The thicker the cloud the more precipitation.  However, there can be thin stratus that you can see through.

   C- Stratocumulus clouds are good producers of light rain, mist, ice, or snow.  Usually, they are dark grey and cover the entire sky.

   D- Cumulonimbus clouds are usually known for their heavy and sometimes violent precipitation.  They tend to be darker and more ominous or threatening!  PAY ATTENTION to these clouds.  The base of these clouds is similar to cumulus clouds – but the top is much higher in altitude.  This extra altitude gives the water drops a place to freeze and coalesce into hail.  The top may have an anvil where the jet stream shears off the top of the cloud.  I call these “thunder boomers.”


   E- Altostratus clouds are high clouds that have a base at 2-4 miles in altitude.  If these clouds are thick they will produce a constant/ continuous light precipitation.  These thick ones will blot out the sun or moon.  Thinner versions make the sun or moon appear fuzzy and out of focus.

   F-Alto cumulus clouds are most likely described as “scattered & broken.”  Rarely precipitation producing.  Sometimes thick enough to hide the sun and moon.

   G- NimboStratus clouds are very thick. They hide the sun and moon.  They produce continuous moderate to heavy precipitation.  You usually can not see the top of the clouds.  The heavier the cloud, the lower the base of the cloud.


   H- Cirrus clouds look like streaks across the sky. The ones with curved ends are called “mares tails.”   You may also see straight cirrus clouds.  Sometimes they look like feathers to me.  These are always very high in altitude and you can tell.  Sometimes you will see a halo and other optical effects in and around these clouds.  That is caused by the sunlight reflecting and refracting off of the ice crystals.

   I- Cirrostratus clouds are a visible & first indication of approaching bad weather.  Remember the saying: “ring around the moon – rain real soon.”  These clouds are ice crystals that cause the optical effect that is the “ring around the moon.”  Either altostratus or nimbostratus clouds will follow and cause the bad weather.   When you observe that the base layer is lowering in altitude it is time to head for cover or shelter.

   J- Cirrocumulus clouds are very similar to cirrus clouds.  Basically the same altitude & color.  But they will look like clumps instead of being streaked.  Usually, they are more broken & scattered / more blue sky in appearance.

Note: When pilots and meteorologists report aviation weather cloud cover; they reference a number between 0 & 1 by eights.  That number means the fraction of the sky that is covered by clouds at a given altitude.  Example: Scattered & broken 3/8 at 25,000.

I- When does it rain candy?
J- When it sprinkles!

Weathered & worn,

Dare to Soar:   by Thomas Mercaldo

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