Monday, 15 July 2013

Circumzenithal arc

Look carefully in the middle - the rainbow-like Circumzenithal arc
Apparently if the sun is higher than 32.2 degrees in the sky you won't see one of these rare and spectacular sights.  It is a rainbow-like effect in the sky and only ever seen as a arc and contains refracted ice.  It seems so strange seeing a "rainbow" on such a hot, dry day!

Generally the arc will look like a smile but you still have to look carefully: these are the only photographs I have of Circumzenithal arcs and believe me, they're not easy to photograph.

Cirrus Uncinus

Cirrus Uncinus
We were all amazed by this wonderful display of clouds overhead.  It was early evening and we'd just finished our evening meal outside on our patio - this is a rare thing to do in the British summers over recent years!  You can also spot a Contrail (a condensation trail) from an aircraft which passed over earlier on.  The feathery edges of this display was stunning.  See below for others taken shortly before; even on calm days with little wind the high level clouds can still move around quite briskly.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Cirrus Uncinus

Mid summer Cirrus Uncinus
Just a small example of these clouds which are always a welcome sight.  These are high level clouds at 20,000 feet or more and a sign of good sunny weather, with plenty of high pressure.  They are actually composed of ice crystals way up there and picked up by the wind; the longer the wispy trail, the stronger the wind.

Taken today, 14th July in the middle of a very warm and sunny spell of weather.  Also spotted today:

Yes, I know the photograph below is not of some clouds as such.  It was taken in a woodland area on the top of a hill shrouded in low cloud.  So it is, sort of, a picture of a cloud - a nice misty scene early in the morning while it was still quite cool.  Gradually the sun warmed up and the low level cloud melted away, leading to the pictures above during the afternoon.