No Elf on this Shelf (cloud)

Sent to Click2pins from Psychogranny in Sargent, TX 10/3/2021

The front arrived, the front arrived! As it moved across the coast yesterday evening, my click2pin fan who calls herself psychogranny took the cover photo in Sargent, Matagorda County. She writes:

Those clouds have a serious layered effect going on. Care to explain why this happens? Sure looks cool.

The answer is really pretty simple: as the front pushes through the warm air is forced upward while rain-cooled air within the clouds fall downward. Warm air rises, cool air sinks....same reason your upstairs is hotter than your downstairs. Where that cold and warm air meet, the moist air condenses and forms that shelf cloud, especially when there is a stark contrast between temperature and humidity.

Here is a visual explanation using Ron Wooten’s amazing photo of a shelf cloud that went over Jamaica Beach on August 1, 2017.

Ron Wooten posted this from Jamaica Beach on August 1, 2017 to GalvestonTalk via Facebook

Pretty amazing, huh? And, no, it is not photo-shopped. Ron posts fabulous pictures of storms and sunsets all the time on Click2pins. So here’s the visual explainer using his photo:

Warm air rising meets cold air sinking (updraft meets downdraft!) and that condensation creates the shelf cloud

So What’s Next?

Welcome to Ahhhh-ctober as we finally settle into a dry, cooler less-humid week! Sometimes October doesn’t play out on the fantastic side that it can, but given the fronts are now moving through, we can pretty well count on a nice month ahead of us! Here’s a morning sunrise Click2pin that really sets the tone for our weather:

Thanks to Click2pin fan Chelsey Ferrell for such a serene photo

Enjoy and keep those Click2pins coming!!

Frank

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About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.