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    Image courtesy of Dione Rossiter

From: Dione Rossiter
Iquique, Chile, October 22, 2008

Nephelococcygia

The flights out of Iquique have been extremely successful. We have been trying different flight paths in order to find the most interesting science and get the most insightful data.

We had two flights before my instrument, the PDI, was delivered. As soon as it was, the Twin Otter crew installed it on the airplane and, by the next day, we were ready to test it out. This is the 4th cloud mission I have been a part of and I was FINALLY able to fly with the PDI onboard the Twin Otter.

I had a lot of fun and, of course, I saw lots of clouds! We flew below, inside, and above a layer of stratocumulus cloud that seemed to go on forever. All of the instruments on board are being used to understand (in extremely great detail) not only the clouds but the boundary layer as well. The boundary layer is the lowest layer of the atmosphere; it’s the layer where stratocumulus clouds form and it’s the layer you live in!

Now that I’ve gotten some data back, I hope to find something interesting to share with you in my next postcard. Until then, go outside and see what kind of clouds form around where you live. Did you know there’s actually a word for the act of watching clouds? It’s called ‘nephelococcygia’ (ne-fê-lê-kak-'si-jee-yê… a tough word, I know). ;)

~Dee

Postcards from the Field: Climate Science from the Southeast Pacific

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