Yesterday morning when I was reviewing my overnight time
lapses I saw that my cameras had captured a brief glimpse of some noctilucent
clouds.We got home late last night and
once again, you could see some unusual lighting on the horizon.This was a very faint event, but the conditions
are just right for a real show.I
thought I’d drop a few factoids here about Noctilucent clouds as a reminder
that this IS the season to keep an eye to the Northern sky after sunset or before sunrise.
Every year around the summer solstice we have “slight” chance
to see this beautiful event.Noctilucent
clouds are ice crystals VERY high in the atmosphere.Specifically, between 47 and 53 miles
For reference, here are the atmospheric levels:
Exosphere: 440 to 6,200 miles
Thermosphere: 50 to 440 miles
Mesosphere: 31 to 50 miles
Stratosphere: 7 to 31 miles
Troposphere: 0 to 7 miles
are straddling the Mesosphere and Thermosphere….
only be seen during deep twilight.In
our area this would be 45 to 90 minutes before sunrise or after sunset. They appear as white, streaky clouds.
Here is an image from last summer.
are very rare for us because they are only visible be 50 and 70 degrees
latitude.We are roughly 47 to 48
interesting fact is there were no documented reports of Noctilucent clouds
prior to 1885. The videos below really need to be viewed full screen.
Here is a
time lapse of the event from last summer:
Here is the “hint”
of some noctilucent clouds in the last 48 hours.
Keep your eyes to the north if you are up early or stay up late.....
Cliff Mass shared his thoughts about the latest long range
forecasts for this winter in his blog today.He also shares the latest long range forecast from the NOAA Climate
Prediction Center and other forecast models.It is a very interesting read.
The forecasts are suggesting a weak El Nino or Neutral (La
Nada) conditions.He does an excellent
job of explaining the distinctions, how they are forecast and what we can
I’ll throw in one caveat….We have had some of our strongest storms during “La Nada” winters.The 1962 Columbus Day storm and the 1993 Inauguration
Day Storm happened during a neutral year.
None of this information can create an absolutely accurate
forecast.Natural variability plays a
huge role in our actual weather.In his
blog he states:
“But keep in mind,
the El Nino/La Nina connection only explains about a third of the year to year
variability in our weather.”