Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Standing Lenticular

Anyone ever heard of a standing lenticular cloud?  I hadn't before Saturday.

Steve and I were driving home after dropping the kids off at grandma and grandpa's house.  It was about 10pm and there was some pretty wicked lightening that was giving the most dramatic outline of these huge clouds.  So, we started talking about weather.

Steve had to take a weather class in college that focuses on flying and weather.  There are plenty of times where we talk about weather and flying.  Take this cloud, for example.  We saw this on the way back from working at the new house the other week:


Well, when I say "talk", our conversation was more like this:
Me: That is a big cloud
Steve: Yeah
Me: Would you ever fly through that?
Steve: No
Me: really, you would never fly through that?
Steve: no
Me: (trying my hardest to get more than one word out of him).  So, no airplane has ever flown through that?
Steve: I am sure there have been. 

I have said it before and I will say it again, Steve doesn't talk about work much.  I should clarify, he doesn't talk about work much with me.  He will talk with his pilot buddies and my dad, but not me.  It was no surprise that a lengthy conversation didn't happen regarding that cloud. 

So, going back to Saturday night...since we were seeing this pretty neat lightening we were talking about clouds again.  Surprise surprise Steve started talking more openly about work.  The reason? Because it was raining quite heavily and when he gets a bit stressed/nervous he talks. 

(He also gets quite talkative after a couple drinks.  Last Friday I had my girlfriends over for margarita night (our Friday night ritual) and Steve made an appearance (to get snacks of course) and stayed a bit to chat.  When he went back upstairs, one of my girlfriends looked at me and said "Steve is quite the chatterbox after a couple drinks, isn't he!")

I clearly recall another nervous conversation.  When Ben was 6 weeks old we piled into our car at midnight and headed down to his parent's house.  His dad had a stroke and was in the hospital.  The fog on the two hour drive was so heavy that you would barely see 2 feet in front of us.  He was nervous the whole way (anyone would have been) and he was just chatting and chatting and chatting about planes and flights and crew stories. 

Our conversation on Saturday night, of course, was around the weather, lightening and clouds.  I learned that there is no such thing as heat lightening.  "Heat lightening" just means that the visibility is so great that you can see the lightening from a storm miles and miles away.  Another thing I got a lesson on is the standing lenticular cloud.  I had never heard of it before, and I have never seen one before.  He basically explained that it is a cloud you want to avoid when flying.  I guess it is around mountain ranges, and the air is very rough.  He said he saw one the other day (Steve, if you are reading this, you took a picture of it, didn't you?  Care to email me the picture?).  I could give you more detail, but I am sure that Wikipedia is better at defining it.

Both he and the Captain took note of the cloud.  I guess they are neat to see, as long as you are far away from it.  So, there you have it folks: the standing lenticular cloud. 

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