Dark days

Dec 4, 2003
Here in Austin we are having one of the darkest days I've seen in recent memory.

It's interesting to think what is causing it:
1. Low sun angle. We're 1 month from solstice.
2. Tropical air mass -> deep troposphere -> thick cloud layers. CRP was showing a tropopause at 43000 ft and saturated through the upper layers.

When the bulk of an embedded storm updraft was over us about ten minutes ago it was so dark that my digital camera could not take an outdoors picture without the flash. All the windows in our house look like twilight right now, and it's noon.

Interestingly, Mary Shelley was inspired by weather like this when she wrote Frankenstein, though it was in June rather than November. It was the coldest year on record in 1816 and Switzerland was getting tremendous convection every day (I assume with considerable mid- and high-level debris), making for dark and sometimes stormy conditions by afternoon. Her and some friends read ghost stories aloud and the Frankenstein idea came to her.

That's creepy, Tim! I hope somehow you at least get one or two shots from the digi just to show, cause I'd be interested to see that.

That's good cereal, too, BTW! :lol:
Yeah, I edited my post to remove the Count Chocula cereal reference and put in the Frankenstein story since I figured it was more relevant. :)

Originally posted by j_r_hehnly
Seems like I read the weather that year was due to an erupting volcano on the other side of the globe. Is this correct?
Tambora, a volcano in Indonesia, blew itself up in 1815. 1816 was "The Year without a Summer".
Hey Tim, that's typical Austin weather at times. I grow to love it as it's a great time to read books, catch up on sleep, and relax. Usually almost every year we have one period of time that may last off and on for a few weeks with this kind of rain and embedded thunderstorms. Good for working on the computer and playing video games too. Lots of times it is caused by tropical airmasses.