You don’t see this everyday, weather fans. Aliens over Area 51?
One of the rarest clouds ever. This was taken over Battle Mountain, Nevada, USA on 8 March 2018.
It's called a horseshoe cloud for obvious reasons. #nvwx
Credit goes to eagle-eye Christy Grimes. pic.twitter.com/XgQDY77ZzM
— NWS Elko (@NWSElko) March 9, 2018
This amazingly rare “horseshoe cloud” formed over Nevada Thursday.
Horseshoe clouds (aka horseshoe vortex clouds) (HV) form when a cumulus cloud passes over a thermal updraft. The updraft rises faster in the middle of the cloud, stretching it higher. Since the wind at higher elevation is often faster, these clouds usually don’t last more than a few minutes before they get torn apart. For more on HV and other cool clouds check out the Cloud Appreciation Society.
Horseshoe vorticies are reason number 1351 why atmosphere is way cool!
Weekend snow chance
I’m still keeping one eye on our relatively minor snow chances this weekend. It still looks like we may only be able to squeeze out a candy coating in the Twin Cities and most of central and northern Minnesota. A couple of inches will likely fall closer to the passing Clipper in southern Minnesota this weekend.
Several rounds of snow showers, mixed with rain at times, tonight through Sunday will produce minor snow accumulations for mainly western, central and southern MN. Little to no snow accumulation is expected for eastern MN into western WI. #mnwx #wiwx pic.twitter.com/MRj3FEVLtT
— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) March 9, 2018
Here’s the projected timing and coverage across Minnesota this weekend via NOAA’s GFS model.
Strong warming signal next week
The latest model runs continue to amplify next week’s warming trend.
In fact these numbers look conservative to me through late next week.
One of NOAA’s GFS outputs I like in these situations cranks out mid 50s next Thursday and Friday.
Rainy St. Patty’s Day?
The models continue to advertise a potentially rainy system around St. Patty’s Day. Right now it looks warm enough for mostly green rain in central and southern Minnesota Saturday, with some snow up north. If this scenario verifies, it could end as a little more wet snow across most of Minnesota next Sunday.