Lenticular Clouds Over Hawaii

October 21, 2005


Provided and copyright by: Leigh Hilbert
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Leigh Hilbert

The photo above of a classic display of stacked lenticular (lens shaped) clouds was taken from Kahopa, Hawaii in December of 2003. Here in Hawaii, these clouds occasionally form on, or adjacent to, the summits of the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes -- just out of sight to the left. Lenticular clouds are for the most part orographic in nature and are caused by waves or disturbances in the air flow on the leeward side of a mountain barrier. Once formed, though their shape may change, they remain nearly stationary with respect to the underlying terrain.

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