Kelvin-Helmholtz near San Francisco

October 06, 2006


Provided by: Mila Zinkova, Fogshadow
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster, Mila Zinkova

The above photo showing a classic display of silhouetted Kelvin Helmholz wave clouds was taken this past winter near San Francisco, California. I was about to leave for home from work and couldn't help but notice this amazing sky. The Sun had just dipped behind these well formed instability clouds off the Pacific coast. Such "breaking" wave clouds likely result form vertical wind shear -- a significant difference in wind speed across their vertical thickness.

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