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2008-12-19 12:29 PM

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Champion
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Subject: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture

I'm watching this weather pattern now hit me on the East Coast.  This pattern has dropped snow all across the country.

Why don't clouds run out of moisture?  I mean, c'mon, wouldn't you have dropped all that moisture in the first few days?  Does it reload mid-stream - I'm mean is there a moisture-filling station over Arkansas?

Seriously, why don't clouds run out of rain (or snow)?



2008-12-19 12:31 PM
in reply to: #1863565

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture
Is this my 7 yr old posting under condorman's name?  I swear he asks about 10 questions like this a day.  ;-)
2008-12-19 12:32 PM
in reply to: #1863565

Iron Donkey
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Subject: RE: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture
2008-12-19 12:46 PM
in reply to: #1863565

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Master
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Subject: RE: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture
condorman - 2008-12-19 11:29 AM

I'm watching this weather pattern now hit me on the East Coast.  This pattern has dropped snow all across the country.

Why don't clouds run out of moisture?  I mean, c'mon, wouldn't you have dropped all that moisture in the first few days?  Does it reload mid-stream - I'm mean is there a moisture-filling station over Arkansas?

Seriously, why don't clouds run out of rain (or snow)?



It's not clouds, it's flow. When the storm was over southern California, the counter clockwise flow of the upper level low pulled in moisture from the Pacific and it flowed all the way to about Vail, Colorado but couldn't make it over Vail Pass. When air moves upward (such as up the west side of Vail Pass), it loses the ability to hold moisture producing snow. On the other side of Vail Pass, the moisture was pretty much gone from the air.

As the low moves NE it runs out of moisture until it can tap into the Gulf of Mexico. That's why snow in Colorado is generally so dry. Once it taps into Gulf moisture, that moisture will wrap all the way around the low producing a cold moist flow coming out of the the north causing snow in Nebraska, Kansas, etc.
2008-12-19 1:01 PM
in reply to: #1863615

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Subject: RE: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture
Ding ding ding. Someone else is a meteorologist here. Breckview is exactly right, it is about flow and where the moisture advection is available. When a low pressure system gets occluded over the northeast CONUS, it has plentiful flow available from the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This is only possible if there are southerly winds however, ever notice those warm winter days in the midwest are made possible due to strong southerly winds?
2008-12-19 1:15 PM
in reply to: #1863565

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture
Cool!

 

 

Thanks!  I was going to guess that moisture is pulled up in front of the system, but having the actual answer sounds even better.



2008-12-19 1:33 PM
in reply to: #1863565

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Subject: RE: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture
Because Cloudman man is sad and drinks a lot of beer. When it drizzles, he's crying, when it storms, he....well he drinks a lot of beer.
2008-12-19 1:53 PM
in reply to: #1863681

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muck raker
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Subject: RE: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture
condorman - 2008-12-19 2:15 PM Cool!

 

 

Thanks!  I was going to guess that moisture is pulled up in front of the system, but having the actual answer sounds even better.

And then when it gets closer to the coast it can pull oceaniac moisture in to dump some more!  The more the merrier for me right now!  Let it snow Let it Snow Let it Snow!  And keep the rain away!

2008-12-19 3:21 PM
in reply to: #1863615

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Subject: RE: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture
breckview - 2008-12-19 12:46 PM

Once it taps into Gulf moisture, that moisture will wrap all the way around the low producing a cold moist flow coming out of the the north causing snow in Nebraska, Kansas, etc.

Hey don't drag us into this!!!
2008-12-20 1:04 PM
in reply to: #1863645

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Subject: RE: Does COJ Know : Why don't clouds run out of moisture
SrA_Rugenstein - 2008-12-19 12:01 PM

Ding ding ding. Someone else is a meteorologist here.

Not a meteorologist (wish I was) but I do love weather. It's an important thing to know in mountaineering and backcountry skiing. Our local mountains get almost nothing from a SW flow which I hate because that wet snow coats the really steep stuff. Today we have a NW flow which is an ideal orographic for us. We're getting hit hard but it's so dry it just doesn't stick to anything steep.
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