Friday 5 June 2020 – cumulus developing to towering cumulus during the day

Herne Bay, about 0830. After a speill of hot settled weather June is beginning with some unseasonably cool blustery winds with showers. Here fields of cumulus build with altocumulus visibily above between the breaks in the lower level cloud.

These atmospherically unstable conditions always provide a good theatre of cloud play.

Later towering cumulus develops with shower and blustery cool winds.

Wednesday 3 June 2020 – Altostratus and cirrostratus

Herne Bay about 0830. Calm and tranquil, overcast but mild. There is a fairly dense canopy consisting of sheets of medium and upper level cloud; altostratus and cirrostratus. The sun is struggling to make it’s presence known. Some lower strato cumulus shows moisture and activity at a lower level.

Thursday 14 May 20 – Early – Cumulus

Today is a day when you can watch the clouds develop.  The aristream is unstable with respect to sea surface temperatures.  There is a hard edge to the lifting condensation level and spirals of cumulus development are evident.  Within the space of 5 minutes you can witness cloud currents grow, mature and fade.


Monday 11 May 20 – Cumulus and Cumulonimbus

Herne Bay and Reculver.  Cold, near gale force wind with good sunny spells but some showers too.  Featured image shows cumulus with blue sky to the left but the onset of a shower to the right.  Note the reduction of visibility under the shower and the loss of a hard horizon.  I have no image of the vertical extent of the cloud but there are strong gusts and showers, so … cumulonimbus.  In between the showers are smaller cumulus clouds, but always in a cold blast.


This bitter north easterly across the North Sea has reset the seasons back to winter after some summer like days last week.

The satellite image for the same time shows a classic pattern of deep convection with separate convective cells dappled in the flow.


Sunday 11 May 20 – Nimbostratus

Herne Bay, cold gale force winds blow straight of the North Sea and pound the beach.  Overcast conditions with rain bearing strato-form cloud.  Satellite image shows the cold front extending across the North Sea.  We can’t see the full vertical extent of the cloud on the surface but the rain tells as that it must be a deep layer, hence Nimbostratus.

Earlier in the morning we could see the medium and upper level cloud heralding the advancing front.


High pressure remains the dominant pressure pattern.  The strength of the winds is surprising given the spacing of the isobars.  This is an example of anticyclonic curvature where for strong curvature around a high, the wind is greater than would be expected by measuring the isobaric spacing.  Cyclonic curvature also exists, the wind around a depression is less than would be expected from the isobaric spacing.

Thursday 7 May 20 – Persistent Contrails

Early morning at low tide.  Still and fine.  Calm.  Aircraft condensation trails (contrails) cross the North Sea.

Satellite picture for the same time below shows many of these, picking out the routes of aircraft across the slow moving air around the South East of the UK.  Earthnull school chart of 250mb wind shows the stream of air around this upper high leaving North Sea contrails undistrubed.