Spectacular contrail outbreak over Wellington

Written by Ross Marsden, Meteorologist

On the afternoon of Monday 19 July 2010, a neat set of four persistent contrails moved across the Cook Strait area.  NASA's  MODIS Rapid Response System captured the contrails in the image stream from the Aqua space craft which was over Wellington at about 2:20 pm. You can see the image on the MODIS web site here:  http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?subset=NewZealand.2010200.aqua.1km  Here’s part of the MODIS image.

 

Layers and streets of cloud

Written by Chris Noble, Meteorologist

Clouds come in many different types and are characterised and named according to both their shape and height in the atmosphere.  While a single snapshot in time at a given location may only contain one type of cloud, there are many days when multiple cloud types can be observed in the sky at once. The satellite images below is a nice example of different cloud types sitting at different levels above Waikato. Here's what the satellite image looked like Saturday afternoon 3 July 2010, for southwestern parts of Waikato near Kawhia Harbour:

Rain or Showers

Written by Chris Webster, Meteorologist

We had an enquiry from an astute member of the public asking about the comings and goings of rain.   They had noticed that in southerly weather the rain has a tendency to "come in bands (e.g., 20 minutes rain, 20 mins dry, 20 mins rain etc.) rather than as a more constant rain that comes with northerlies". They were wondering why this was. This is a good question and I will try to answer it here.