Monument, Colorado Kelvin-Helmholtz Clouds

November 21, 2007


Provided and copyright by: Terry Robinson
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster, Terry Robinson

This intriguing, curlicue Kelvin-Helmholtz formation was spotted as I was driving through the Colorado town of Monument. Noting that their shape was quickly changing, I pulled over to the side of the road to better observe them. They persisted for only a few minutes, but I was able to take several photos, including the one above. Altocumulus lenticularis clouds often seem to favor Kelvin-Helmholtz development. Their formation is governed by the presence of a significant wind shear or velocity difference between adjacent cloud layers. Photo taken in January of 1994.