Cloud Road, 7/2/21
Posted on July 2, 2021 Posted by John Scalzi 15 Comments
Maybe an unbroken chain of clouds across the sky isn’t all that big of a deal, but you know what? I thought it looked pretty neat.
In other news, I’m close to finishing my current writing project (the third Dispatcher novella), which is good, because I promised I would have it in next week. I’m likely to be scarce here until it’s done. Fortunately, it’s Independence Day weekend, you’ll all be out grilling things and lighting fireworks (that is, if you’re in an area where it’s allowed, and also, isn’t so bone dry that everything will go up in a spark). You won’t miss me. Enjoy yourselves, and I’ll see you on the other side.
That’s looks like a cloud street. Awesome if you’re in a glider, it literally can be an interstate highway in the sky.
Those Dispatcher books got me out of my audiobook ‘ban’ — mostly I find them so much slower than reading text, but lately I’ve been car commuting and the second one was perfect for that (the first one, I just listened because it was only available in audio). I hope you get the same reader.
@chukg – Zachary Quinto is the reader for the Dispatcher novels and I can’t imagine them without him!
Like you, the first Dispatcher was the one that pushed me to actually listen to audiobooks. I still prefer to read than to listen for the most part, but I do love listening to these and to the Wil Wheaton versions of the Lock In books.
And … YAY! Dispatcher 3!
It’s a beautiful cloud-chain! Thank you so much for sharing it! Happiness to you and all at the Scalzi Compound, and have an awesome holiday weekend!
I think it looks pretty cool, myself.
Love the pics!
I just finally got around to listening to the first Dispatcher story. It was great and really gave me some old Isaac Asimov “Caves of Steel” detective story vibes. Just started the second one.
I hope you sold the options for film/TV to this with a contract point of having Zachary Quinto in the starting role.
Keep up the great work. Looking forward to the 3rd one. (I hope there is an explanation for the death/rebirth but that’s one of the reasons I am still reading)
Nice pic! I think you might be looking at the path of the beam.
I hope you & yours have a good holiday too!
Send some of that dry weather up this way. Been raining since Wednesday night with showers predicted for today and tomorrow. (MA)
Robert at the top is right – that is likely a cloud street. They are even cooler on satellite photography – wiki has an article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizontal_convective_rolls
The article mentions that chaos theory is useful in understanding cloud street formation, which they did not tell me in weather school back in the Cretaceous.
Good luck on the homestretch and finishing it up!
We would call that snakewaking!
The fourth is your grandma Jeans Birthda
It is indeed the type of cloud street avidly sought by us glider pilots, and one can indeed fly along one for many miles without needing to seek out, or circle in, thermals (updrafts) in order to stay aloft. By the same token, the blue areas between cloud streets are to be avoided, as the air that rises under the cloud streets sinks between them–and a good thing, since otherwise all the air would just go up and everyone on the surface might asphyxiate.
How they’re formed: a thermal–a bubble of warm air–will form over some warm area on the ground (shopping malls are great!), and when it gets warm enough, it’ll float up, causing an updraft and–if it contains sufficient moisture–a cumulus cloud like in John’s excellent picture. Meanwhile, (a) cooler air will flow in on the ground, temporarily stopping the thermal, and (b) the whole megillah–thermal, cloud, and all–will drift off downwind. After a while, as the air warms, the next thermal will form in the same spot; lather, rinse, and repeat.
One can fly literally hundreds of miles under cloud streets–or even at an angle to them, flying under one for a while, then zipping rapidly through the sink to reach the next one on either side, etc.
John and/or Athena (or Krissy, for that matter)–if you’re ever in southwestern Colorado (summer) or northern California (winter), I’d be honored to take you soaring!
Coming from the bone dry Pac. NW already burning, I hope those clouds look down, sneer at your green lawn, and say, “Nope! Not this year … or, next; nor the one following.”
Cute puff balls. Maybe, send a shot to MS and they will use it for the next OS box. Open with a tune from Beatles (about winding roads) and ….