Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lenticular Clouds Gallery

Lenticular clouds, technically known as altocumulus standing lenticularis, are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes, normally aligned at right-angles to the wind direction.

(images credit: Valuca)

(images credit: Valuca)

These clouds are formed by so-called "mountain waves" of air created by strong winds forced over high mountains. Then they hang over the mountains like alien "motherships"... Mount Rainier in Washington produces some of the most spectacular lenticulars.

Copyright (c)2002 Christopher J Picking

(image credit: Peter Michaud)

Mount Erebus, Antarctica (US Coast Guard photo)

(image credit: Doug Cruikshank)

(image credit: J. D. Rufo, J. Koermer)

Copyright (c)Haakon Mork,Norwey

(image credit: Jane English)

They have been mistaken for UFOs (or "visual cover" for UFOs) because these clouds have a characteristic lens appearance and smooth saucer-like shape.

(image credit: Valuca)

Photo by Mario Martín Labrador, Canary Islands

2. Wave Clouds

Wave clouds are formed when there are two parallel layers of air that are usually moving at different speeds and in opposite directions. The upper layer of air usually moves faster than the lower layer because there is less friction. Below is the famous photo of such special clouds over Mount Shasta, titled "Catch the wave"

Copyright (c)2001 Brooks Martner

(image credit: Beverly Shannon)

3. The Witch's Brew of Bizarre Clouds

In the following photos (which are probably the weirdest of all weather phenomena pics), taken from the top of local TV broadcasting tower (source: KSNTV) both the lenticular and mammatus clouds combine in one crazy rippled texture, hanging all over the city.


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