Kelvin-Helmholtz Standing Wave Clouds Over Sedona, Arizona

June 22, 2008

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Provided and copyright by: Richard Arthur
Summary author: Richard Arthur

The photo above shows a wave cloud formation known as Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds. I first noticed these fascinating waves while flying in the chopper pictured in the foreground, near Sedona, Arizona. Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds require significant wind shear (velocity difference between adjacent cloud layers) in order to form. These conditions are more apt to be encountered on the lee side of mountain ranges than above coastal plains or piedmont areas.