Eruption Through Cloud Deck

May 28, 2009


Photographer: Dimitrie Olenici
Summary Author: Dimitrie Olenici, Jim Foster

The photo above showing what looks to be an eruption from a cloud deck was taken over Germany on a flight from London, England to Bucharest, Romania on November 15, 2004. The cloud tops that the “eruptive” plume is penetrating are uniform and unruffled. This is a stratus cloud deck -- perhaps a layer of fog. Note the area at upper right where the cloud/fog has evaporated. It seems unlikely that a thunderstorm is pushing through this stratus layer since strong convection in November, across northern Europe, is atypical. Rather, this is probably a plume from an industrial plant or possibly a forest fire that’s broaching the shallow, near-surface cloud deck. Fog is a common occurrence over the low-lying countries bordering the North Sea, especially during the autumn months.