January 18, 2013

Relief Aloft

For many folks in the lowlands of western Washington and Oregon, the day was dismal, dark, foggy, and cold.   Here is an example, taken at 4 PM at the top of my building at the UW in Seattle.

But warmth and sunshine was close at hand--you just needed to gain about 1000 ft.

For example, a short drive up to a hilltop (1170 feet) in Bellevue brought sun and ethereal views of the cloud layer below (pictures courtesy of Peter Banda, taken around 4 PM):

Want to stay in Seattle? Just take the elevator ride to the Columbia Center's observation platform (around 1000 ft high) as Joseph Chan did today:

Amazing pictures...the clouds reached up to just under 1000 ft.  And as you rise above the clouds you enter the inversion and temperature warms rapidly--to roughly 50F at 2500 ft!

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How unusual is it for aircraft to exceed the speed of sound?

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