Spring/Winter Skies

Texas, and the attached parts of North America, had a little weather last week. I believe this is called “spring.” It started with temperatures in the 80s F on Sunday, then colder weather on Monday, a thunderstorm on one side of town that became snow. The other side of town got drenched with training thunderstorms for a few hours, then snow. Come Tuesday morning, six inches of very heavy, wet snow covered everything. The temperature was 33F. Work started late, and the roads were mildly interesting because of the slush under the snow.

The heavy overcast had begun breaking up even before dawn, revealing glimpses of dark, almost glowing blue through the rents and tears in the grey-brown clouds. The sun shone down by afternoon, causing grumbling among those who didn’t bring dark glasses. Wednesday? Howling north winds, colder, and signs and buildings fall over in the 50-60 MPH winds.

Come Thursday, everyone was ready for a break. The skies . . . For a few hours, a field of spotty snow-virga and rain-virga, as well as real snow and rain showers, swept down from the north. Calm air predominated, then a gust of wind from the collapsing showers would rush past, chased by bits of rain and snow. The clouds bubbled on top, with grey, flat bottoms trailing blue-grey sweeps of moisture across the land. They drifted over the snow-draped land, white below, grey between, and white and crisp turquoise above. A few very high ice-clouds feathered over from west to east. In the gaps between the showers, you could see forever, or at least to the edge of the higher ground.

A few birds had ventured out, including a sharp-shinned hawk that dove and rose on the wind whirls, hunting for mice and foolish young rabbits in the pastures and lake-fringe. A meadowlark reminded everyone who owned the land, while a killdeer darted across the road. The doves stayed low, trying to be invisible as an even larger raptor cruised overhead.

Veils and sweeps of light and shadow, sun and rain/snow, passed across the plains. To say that they looked a bit like opaque jellyfish doesn’t do the beauty justice. I’ve never seen anything quite like that here. Bigger storms, yes, and virga yes, but not like that, tiny snow and rain showers quietly sailing down the land.

Creative Commons Fair Use. Original source: https://www.thoughtco.com/virga-precipitation-and-dry-thunderstorms-3444323
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7 thoughts on “Spring/Winter Skies

  1. Up here in northern New England, we call that “March.” Gorgeous and deadly dangerous at the same time.

    Never trust March. Never, ever.

  2. Beautiful picture. I think we’ve had snow-virgas, but never at a good angle to appreciate the beauty.

    March is about to go out like a snow leopard. Don’t turn you back, even if it purrs “earrly Aprrrril”.

  3. I’d be happy with snow leopard, Michigan is channeling it’s inner polar bear. Most of the migratory birds are up and beating their wings together to keep warm. I feel really sorry for the insectivores and the buzzards who rely on thermals for flight.

  4. We had some of those 80+ MPH winds Tuesday. Lost another major limb from one of the maples in my front yard. Daughter2 lost a side window of her Yukon. Third severe windstorm this winter.

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