Swiss Cirrus Clouds

May 14, 2005


Provided and copyright by: Peter Sheil
Summary authors & editors: Peter Sheil

The above photo shows one of a series of cirrus clouds that kept forming, looping back in a hook and then disappating. It was taken on March 9, 2005 near Zermatt, Switzerland. My best guess is that the air-flow over the Alps, particularly the Matterhorn, which is just off to the right of this picture, was creating high-level rotor turbulence. A number of the ski lifts on the Italian side of the skiing area were closed that day, and the information service had been reporting winds of over 60 km / hour at the higher elevation stations. These gossamer clouds look as though they've been buffeted by severe turbulence or strong winds.

I performed my "meteorological observations" whilst relaxing after a hard morning's skiing and eating a "coupe" of hot berries and ice cream - by far the best way to study clouds.

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