Sky watching

Yesterday I enjoyed watching the cumulus clouds try and build into thunderheads in the heat of the afternoon. One shower developed just south of the weather lab and tracked towards the International Airport with about a tenth of an inch of moisture.

Another thundershower strayed over St. Paul producing some small hail about 330PM; developing further as it moved through west central Wisconsin. One inch hail was reported in Clayton in Polk County, WI.

There is a process in nature where the heat of the day increases the instability, creating lift and allowing cumuls clouds to grow into rain producing clouds. The life cycle of a thunderstorm, from the developing stage to the dissipating stage, is on the order of an hour. Some thunderstorms continue to regenerate in favorable environment. Other storms like to form on the flanking line, or the southwest tail of the line of thunderstorms.

Watch the sky today and enjoy the growing cumulus clouds as they tower into cumulonimbus. Some storms could produce hail to one inch in diameter.

Taking to the golf course in the metro this afternoon? I enourage a little sky watching and an ear out for some thunder.


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