blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The return flight

Looking along the Toronto islands' shore
Coming home from Toronto was interesting, through a changeable cloudscape. Not such an interesting experience as the following day would have been, mind, since on that day there were waterspouts over Lake Ontario. Although the air temperatures had fallen rapidly, as we'd noticed, the lake water was taking longer to cool. A weak "trough" through which we passed on Sunday afternoon caused further instability: gusty winds and a tendency for the air to rotate. We did well to avoid those waterspouts.

Leaving Toronto towards a mix of cloud
On the Sunday morning of our departure, which we spent exploring some of the Toronto islands park, the weather looked fair, with fluffy cumulus and a strong breeze. In the afternoon the breeze was still strong, favouring us with a tailwind of 30 knots at altitude. Chris took us to 5000ft and in the larger clouds north of the lake the air temperature was hovering around 0º which meant that we had to keep a look out for ice on the wing strut, which would imply ice on the leading edge of the wings as well, before long. I thought I detected some; Chris claimed the drops were still liquid, but there was definitely a white frosting on both tyres.

Even so, I wasn't as nervous about the clouds as I had been on our flight from Marathon to North Bay in the summer. We're now in October. Among the clouds en route isolated TCUs were predicted, but only towering to 12,000ft at most, which is a lot less than 40,000ft. Chris teased me about the prospect of being tossed out in the high altitudes. The surrounding air wasn't bumpy at all, despite the wind, and on the ground ahead (we were flying along through or under the cloud bases) we could see sunny patches, which boded well. Over the lake shore to the east were sunlit, lower clouds, another promising sign.

Entering cloud-bases, with brighter weather ahead

Layers of cloud on the northern shore of Lake Ontario
Chris had predicted that we'd emerge into clearer conditions somewhere around Peterborough. We were somewhat east of there, over the "Land o' Lakes" when the skies began to clear, and the ground at our destination seemed to be sunlit, too. Where the clouds were denser and at their greyest, rain showers were visible and so were rainbows. The VFR visibility was superb. The winds at CYRO were light and variable.

Light and shade around Ottawa

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