Thursday 30 April 20 – Cumulus and Cirrus

From Reculver Towers, Kent.  Good sunny periods.  Blustery wind, cool.  Some wonderful skies with convective development under way.  Cumulus in the lower levels and cirrus above.  Herstmonceux weather balloon shows the extent of the instability with much convectively available potential energy.  The satellite picks out the cumulus development over Kent with cloud streaks blowing out over the North Sea.


Sunday 26 Apr 20 – Cumulus, Stratocumulus

Herne Bay, fair and warm.

A still and peaceful morning with scattered cumulus and stratocumulus.

Later in the day, a little bit of minor developement of cumulus over the land at Whitstable and Tankerton, possibly evidence of a little sea breeze circulation.


Satellite and chart for the same day shows a slack pressure gradient and clear skies..

Thursday 24 Apr 20 – Cirrus

24 Apr 20 Herne Bay, Kent. Fine weather, warm with a light breeze.  Cirrus out over the North Sea.

The visibility is good, but not crystal clear.  The wind farm is not visible at 7 miles and the horizon is a little blurred.

Fairly featureless pressure pattern, below, but satellite imagery shows the Cirrus well.   Probably remenants of an old front.


Sunday 19 April 2020 – Sky Clear

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Herne Bay, Kent, Sunday 19 April 2020.  Fine weather, a fresh cool breeze, very good visibility.  There is a sharp horizon and the wind farm, 8 miles out to sea is clearly visible. No clouds, sky clear.

The high west of Norway has intensified.  Air is descending from the upper levels all over the North Sea.  The wind is always stronger than expected around the edges of a high pressure (anticyclonic curvature).  The satellite image shows clear skies.  The nearby weather balloon data is also included below, its complicated but it does show a temperature inversion of air warming and drying as it descends.

Saturday 18 April 2020 – Fractocumulus


Herne Bay, Kent.  Cool but air weather after rain this morning.  Some high altocumulus but underneath and much close to the sea are patches ragged cloud fragments formed by shallow convection currents and cool moist air flows over relatively warm sea and land surface.  So, cloud out at sea is fractocumulus.  Next photo, taken into the sun with a polarising filter, shows the lower more clearly.


Nothing much is changing in the synoptic situation.  Slow moving high pressure in west of Norway leaves remanants of fronts and trough lines.

Friday 17 April 2020 – Altocumulus

IMG_9403About 0900 at Reculver, Kent.  Very nearly clear skies, quite sunny but fairly breezy.

The sky is not entirely clear.  The are some fairly high clouds.  They are not cirrus, because they have a bubbly shape to them – so, alto-cumulus.

Alto-cumulus can indicate a different and unstable airmass spreading into the area of observation in the upper levels.  Today there is a front to the south that is moving North and is forecast to spread rain across the area this evening.

Clouds – Thursday 16 April 2020


Hampton, Herne Bay at 1430.  Light winds, cool temperatures feeling a little bit clamy.

The North Sea is a little bit murky today, it almost felt like mist.  When does mist and murk become a cloud? The answer is, when it is thick enough to be fog.

The visibility is not brilliant today and there is no hard horizon.  The clouds are a little shapeless and grey.  Mostly low level stratocumulus and stratus.  There are occasional lighter patches in the sky and even a hint of blue in places; the cloud layer is not thick and merely the result of the cooling effect of the North Sea on moist air moving up from the south, see chart and satellite image below.