Impressive clouds and some cool news

From the Institute for Climate Education at A-B Tech.  It’s fair to say that Western North Carolina has been in an active weather pattern this winter. Every few days, another system approaches the region from the west or northwest, bringing changing weather conditions. And this week was no different. Tuesday afternoon saw another one of these systems roll in and as it did, it also brought some amazing clouds that swept over the valley.

These clouds, looking like pouches hanging down from the sky, are called mammatus clouds and show up most often on the underside of thunderstorm anvils (as they did in early August of last year – covered in the August 2 Fun Facts). On Tuesday, these clouds appeared just before the rain moved in and were most likely the result of turbulent air flow within the clouds ahead of the rain.

Yet another system moved across the region late Friday, bringing much colder air and the chance for both rain and snow, just in time for the weekend!

Yes, that was cool news (so to speak), but this is even better! I’m excited to be able to tell you about an awesome tool to help you look at the weather that’s impacting our region!  The Institute has a High Definition Webcam that looks south across the French Broad River Valley from the north rim of the valley, and you can access that webcam anytime you like here. It’s a great way to be able to SEE the weather that’s impacting our area, so be sure and bookmark the site. If it’s dark, or cloudy, there’s still plenty to see because you can play back beautiful timelapse sequences. It really is a unique way to see what’s going on and learn about Western North Carolina’s weather and climate, so be sure and check it out! Enjoy!

The Institute is hosting a screening of the energy documentary film SWITCH at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb 21st at Ferguson Auditorium on A-B Tech’s main campus in partnership with the Colburn Earth Science Museum in Asheville. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session. You’ll find more information here. The screening is open to everyone so I hope you will plan to join us … and bring a friend.

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