Friday, April 27, 2012
Eye Candy of the Day
Beautiful loop above of a developing upper level trough as it exits the Intermountain West and moves over the Great Plains today. This is an infrared satellite image, but the wavelengths sampled are strongly influenced by the distribution of water vapor and temperature in the upper troposphere (usually above about 6 km). As a result, it only sees the highest clouds and color contrasts in other areas reflect differences in water vapor and temperature. The protrusion of red extending into central Kansas at the end of the loop is in the heart of what is typically called the "dry slot," where the upper levels have very low relative humidities. In addition, flow around the developing low has also produced a beautiful isolated region of what is probably locally dry air in the upper troposphere over western Kansas. Call it the eye of the storm if you will, although tropical cyclone aficionados will likely grimace.