Iridescent Kelvin-Helmholtz Clouds Over Mutare, Zimbabwe

March 29, 2016

Iridescent Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds with passing Swallow, Mutare, Zimbabwe

Photographer: Peter Lowenstein
Summary Author: Peter Lowenstein

March 2016 Viewer's ChoiceThe photo above shows a band of undulating Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds that developed in the vicinity of a dissipating cumulonimbus anvil over Murambi East, Mutare, Zimbabwe. These intriguing wave clouds became iridescent for but a few minutes before dispersing a short time later. For Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds to form, wind shear must be pronounced -- the lower layer is moving slower than the top layer.

It's not every day that one sees well-defined Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, and it's rare for them to become iridescent, but it's quite extraordinary indeed for a bird to fly past during the fraction of a second when the shutter was snapped. Photo taken near sunset on March 11, 2016.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: Panasonic; Camera Model: DMC-TZ60; Focal Length: 62.1mm (35mm equivalent: 361mm); Aperture: ƒ/7.1; Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 12.0 Windows.