Weather Blog

Seattle must be in the 70s, even the clouds are streaking

Seattle must be in the 70s, even the clouds are streaking

Our area has had several displays lately of what look like floating jellyfish in the sky, but it's just some harmless cirrus clouds that shedding some ice crystals.

But since ice crystals are more "drift" than "fall" from these clouds, they appear to get stretched out and pulled in the wind like taffy.

There is a similar-looking phenomenon when it's raindrops, called "virga" -- that's when the rain falls from the base of the cloud, but evaporates before it reaches the ground. This is a very common sight in the desert where air is so dry the rain all evaporates quite quickly.

Here is one explanation of how these cirrus "fall clouds" form and here are some of the physics behind the clouds' unique shapes

Now, for the pretty pictures...

This one is from Timothy Durkan on July 2.

And this is from Ana Saucedo taken the same day.

And best of all, here is some time lapse video from the UW Atmospheric Sciences Building. Pay close attention to the afternoon and evening.

Have a great weekend!