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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published September 23 2013

Weather Talk: Season of flat clouds rapidly approaching

If you upgraded your iPhone or iPad to the new operating system last week, you realize that “flat” graphical design is now the latest trend. There will be another element of our lives that becomes flat in the coming weeks, and that will be the sky.

As we rapidly progress into our cold season, the clouds will become very flat and often appear featureless. Our sky will be dominated by stratus, altostratus and cirrus clouds during most of late October through March of next year. The sun will be too low in the sky to generate thermals that help induce the cumulus clouds that tend to dominate the sky during the summer months. Also, once the sun angle increases toward the end of winter, the ground is usually snow covered, which will greatly limit the ability of rising air currents to form clouds with much vertical development.

Although the flat cloud season is rapidly approaching, we have at least a few more weeks of three-dimensional cloud potential.


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