Curvy Cirrus

January 23, 2005


Provided by: John A. Adam, Old Dominion University
Summary authors & editors: John A. Adam

The above photo showing a formation of curvy cirrus clouds was taken in Norfolk, Virginia, late in the summer of 2004, about mid-morning. What caught my attention was the rather unusual cloud pattern. The thick, almost continuous swath of cirro-cumulus clouds was deviated, presumably by a significant change in wind direction (shear), toward a set of thin parallel bands of cirrus -- the change of direction being almost a right angle near the left of the picture. Since cirrus are often found at the height of jet streams (usually above about 18,000 ft or 5,486 m), it's possible that a fragment of the sub tropical jet is the source of the "bending."

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