Lenticular Clouds Over the White Mountains

December 08, 2004

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Provided and copyright by: Dennis Isbell
Summary authors & editors: Dennis Isbell; Jim Foster

While traveling home from a day hike with Boy Scouts (Troop 240) to Mount Osceola in the lower White Mountains of New Hampshire last month, I noticed an unusual cloud formation in my rear-view mirror. An avid amateur astronomer and photographer, I took advantage of the moment. I pulled over, grabbed my camera and took the photo above of this impressive lenticular cloud formation. The larger of the two clouds was most interesting to us because we thought the shape resembled the mystical dog-like Dragon, Falkor, from the movie, "The Neverending Story."

Wherever stable, moist air flows over a mountain range, lens-shaped lenticular clouds may form when the moisture laden air is cooled to the dewpoint as it's forced upward. On occasion, this results in a series of wave clouds on the downwind or lee side of the range.

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