Cap Cloud on Mt. Rainier

February 02, 2005

Vacation2004_274 copy

Provided by: Linda Selvaggio, Brentwood Freshman Center
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Linda Selvaggio

This photo of a cloud-capped and snow covered Mt. Rainier was taken on a July afternoon at Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State. This active volcano is the highest peak in the Cascade Range. When warm, moist air rising up a mountain cools and the water vapor in it condenses, occasionally, interesting cap clouds are formed. Sometimes these clouds "cap" the summit. On the lee side of the mountain, as the air moves downward, it's compressed and warms above the dewpoint. The warming allows the cloud droplets to evaporate, thus dissipating the cloud. Note the tinge of iridescence in this cloud, particularly along the edges.

Related Links: