Friday, November 6, 2015

Classic "Mackerel Sky" Creates Beauty Over Vermont

"Mackerel sky" over St. Albans, Vermont Thursday afternoon.  
You'll see in this post that I enjoyed some beautiful clouds that drifted over my home in northwestern Vermont Thursday afternoon.

You'd better appreciate them, because I had to endure near record temperatures of around 70 degrees to capture these images.

Yes, weather photographers do have to put up with brutal conditions when documenting changing conditions.

Anyway, this was a classic case of mackerel sky, named so because the clouds resemble scales of the fish.

As always, there are different forms mackerel sky can take. Often, their size is smaller, and are in the form of clouds much higher aloft than the ones you see here. Those higher, somewhat wispier ones are almost always a sign that precipitation is on the way.

The ones you see in these photographs are lower in elevation, and are often a sign of a temporary improvement in weather before a cold front comes along. (You can click on each photo to make them bigger and easier to see.)

This was true. The sky was partly to mostly cloudy throughout Thursday, and at one point, some darkish ones threatened showers.

But the threatening clouds passed by mid afternoon, and we were left with these striking clouds you see in this here blog post thingy.

What was also true is these mackerel clouds, - altocumulus if you want to get all jargon-y, were indeed appearing out ahead of a cold front.
Another view of mackerel sky - altocumulus clouds -
over St. Albans, Vermont Thursday.  

The airmass we were in yesterday was part of a broad area of record and near record high temperatures across much of the eastern third of the nation.

The high temperature in Burlington, Vermont - close to my house - was 70 degrees Thursday, missing the record high for the date by just two degrees.

Meanwhile, Montpelier, Vermont set a record high of 73 degrees Thursday. St. Johnsbury, Vermont also had a record high, 71 degrees there.

Massena, in northern New York had a record high of 73. Even the summit of Mount Mansfield, Vermont got into the act, reaching a record high of 58 degrees.

After another very warm day today, a cold front will sweep through later, dropping daytime temperatures into the more seasonable 40s and low 50s.

The warm weather mackerel sky over my house Thursday did its job by forecasting an approaching cold front more beautifully than any human could.

1 comment:

  1. My outdoor thermometer read 76 degrees this afternoon in Barre at 1:00 pm. Right now it is still warm out and 74-degrees (2:40 p.m.). Weird and warm for November.