12News meteorologist explains what a ‘streamer shower’ is

Ginger Jeffries
4 Min Read

A 12News viewer sent in a picture of a cloud formation she didn’t recognize and the 12News weather team explains what she saw

PHOENIX — You may be familiar with streaming your favorite movie or TV show, but did you know clouds can stream too? 

A picture sent in by a 12News viewer named Penny in Gilbert, which you can see below, shows a perfect example of that. 

What is seen in the picture is a rain streamer coming out of the base of a cloud. Streamers can be any form of precipitation, rain, freezing rain or snow.  

The best way to truly understand this formation would be to have photos leading up to this image and photos after. Streamers form as precipitation falls from the cloud but evaporates before reaching the surface.  

If there’s enough wind, and the precipitation is freezing rain, the wind will force this streamer into another cloud formation called a “cirrus” cloud. Those look like wispy thin white brush strokes in the sky.

Technically speaking, a cloud is defined as a visible aggregate of minute droplets of water or particles of ice or a mixture of both floating in the free air.  Each droplet has a diameter of about a hundredth of a millimeter.  Each cubic meter of air will contain 100 million droplets.  Because these droplets are so small, they can remain in liquid form in temperatures down to -22° F.  

Clouds at higher levels in the atmosphere are composed of ice crystals.  Clouds form when the invisible water vapor in the air becomes liquid, and condenses into visible water droplets or ice crystals. For this to happen, the air must be saturated and unable to hold all the water in vapor form.  That’s when the air mass condenses into a liquid or solid mass.

And here’s another fun face, did you know that fog and cloud are the same thing?  The only difference in terminology is due to elevation. Fog is defined as visible moisture that begins at a height lower than 50 feet. If the visible moisture begins at or above 50 feet, it is called a cloud.   

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Ginger Jeffries , www.12news.com
KPNX Vivrr Local Feed: weather , 2024-03-17 04:45:24
Categories: talking-weather,weather,valley,news,local,arizona,home

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