Mt. Humphrey Lenticular

August 04, 2007

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Provided and copyright by: Bonnie Keller, Cosby High School
Summary authors & editors: Bonnie Keller

As we drove toward the Grand Canyon on Easter Sunday (April 8, 2007), a lenticular cloud formed over Mt. Humphrey, Arizona's highest peak. This attention getting cloud was barely above the summit, and the mountain and cloud resembled a capped mushroom. Lenticular clouds form as a stable but nearly saturated layer of air is forced to flow over elevated terrain -- the lifting cools the air to saturation. Typically, these clouds form on windy, clear days, and this early April day was particularly windy (with gusts of more than 35 mph, or about 55 km/h, at the surface) and unusually humid for northern Arizona.

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