Santa Catalina Mountain Cloud Project


Overview and Live Camera
Background and Goals of the Project
Cloud Animations
The North American Monsoon and Mountain Thunderstorms
Personnel

Cloud Animations


Time-Lapse Cloud Formation (Aug. 16, 2002)
This is an animation of the sequence described in the Background and Goals section. There is a low transition from shallow to deep convection starting at about 9am local time, and ending with a thunderstorm over the mountains at about noon.

(Click on images below to view animation.)

Download and View QuickTime Time-lapse Animation (125MB) Download and View QuickTime Time-lapse Animation
QuickTime Format
(125 MB)
Real Media Video Stream



Time-Lapse Cloud Formation Part 1 (July 18, 2004)

This is another example of a slow transition from shallow to deep convection. We're using wider angle lenses this year, and the cameras also have a higher resolution. More of the mountain is visible for reference. The winds aloft are from the south on this day the tops of the clouds are sheared off and drift over the camera.

(Click on image below to view animation.)

Download and View QuickTime Time-lapse Animation (125MB)
QuickTime Format
(65 MB)

 

Time-Lapse Rain Shaft Part 2 (July 18, 2004)

This sequence begins about 1/2 hour after the previous one ends. The large cell on the left moves out of the frame, and the clouds build again over the mountains. At this time of day, there is generally widespread convection and cells move into the frame from the west and south. Toward the end of the sequence, the turbulence of the cloud base and a bit of rotation are visible during the heaviest rainfall.

(Click on image below to view animation.)

Download and View QuickTime Time-lapse Animation (125MB)
QuickTime Format
(47 MB)

 

Time-lapse Updraft (July 17, 2004)

During the early stages of development, the bases of the clouds tend to be flat and uniform. This is due to the rising air originating from the same level and having similar amounts of moisture. Once the convection develops and becomes organized, there is forced lifting and the cloud bases become more chaotic. In this animation a large convection cell moves into the frame from the right. At about 17:15 (5:15pm local time) there is air being drawn into the cloud base, with "fingers" forming as water drops condense in the rising air.

(Click on image below to view animation.)

Download and View QuickTime Time-lapse Animation (125MB)
QuickTime Format
(21 MB)