Animated Lenticluar Cloud

July 17, 2006


Provided and copyright by: Donald Collins
Summary author: Donald Collins

This fascinating lenticular cloud appeared on Easter Sunday 2006 (April 16) above Swannanoa, North Carolina. The winds were blowing lightly from the left edge of the image (from the northwest). Note that the lenticular cloud remains stationary as the winds appear to blow through it. The winds were deflected vertically by the Great Craggy Mountains, not far from the cities of Asheville and Swannanoa. This upward deflection of the air chills it below the dewpoint, allowing water vapor to condense, forming the cloud. As the air continues through the wave, similar to the ripples in a creek downstream of a submerged stone, it descends back to a warmer environment, and thus the cloud evaporates. In the animation, one can see that the cloud hovers in basically the same part of the sky while other erratic clouds drift past. The animation was created at one frame every 10 sec and played back at about 30 frames per sec. This speeds up the animation at 300 times the normal speed.

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