Sunday, August 13, 2006

Big Clouds

Holly and I saw this cloud over the mountains today. The mountain is a mile higher than Albuquerque, so you can kinda gauge how high the cloud is.

Here's a clearer view also near Sandia High (Candelaria and Pennsylvania, in northeast Albuquerque). The top of the mountain is two miles above sea level. Look how much higher the clouds go!

The third photo is from inside our house, ten minutes or so later. I posted another photo of the Sandia Mountains out that window here. I couldn't use that angle for these, though, because the clouds were cut off halfway up, so I had to sit down low and aim up to get the tops of them. That's the window frame up in the corner of the photo.

Those are some big clouds. Thunderheads.

We've had out-of-state coastal-resident visitors recently and I was trying to describe how big those clouds get and how distinct they are from the sky. They don't kind of trail out at the edges. Sometimes there will be just one single one, and it will rain out the bottom on a spot not much bigger than it is.

Sometimes the rain doesn't reach the ground, but evaporates partway down. I'll try to get photos of that. It's called verga, the rain you can see that doesn't reach the ground. That only happens on very dry days, though, and today is downright muggy. 68% humidity.

The rain is always cold here. I was surprised when I felt warm rain, for the first time as an adult, in Pennsylvania. I thought all rain was cold.


~Crystal~ said...

I swear I saw that same cloud the other day. I was driving from Rio Rancho down into town and I could not stop looking at it. It took my breath away.

Sandra Dodd said...

Just a while after that, Holly and I were driving back out and I didn't take the camera, but I wish I had! There was verga all along the SW of town, even though it was really humid. We were at a redlight when Holly pointed out that rain had just started coming out of one place in a cloud, and we watched it come down. In the time we were at the redlight, it came about 1/3 of the way to the ground. If we knew the length of the light we could pass it on as a physics problem for others to figure out the height of the bottom of that cloud.

Clouds are great, and that one was a beauty!

Meg L. said...

Girl and I loved watching the clouds during our year in Albuquerque. I've spent the last couple of months, now that we're home, deciding that it was really spectacular and not that the trees here just hide them