Cloud Trains Over the Southern Appalachians

February 11, 2014

AppalachainCloudsphoto (11)

Photographer: Seth Adams
Summary Authors: Seth Adams; Jim Foster

The photo above showing cloud trains over the southern Appalachian Mountains was snapped from cruising altitude (approximately 30,000 ft or 9,144 m) while on a flight from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Atlanta, Georgia. Notice how the clouds are parallel with the ridges below them. These cumulus clouds fromed from convective currents (thermals) coming off the ridges. Upper air soundings from January 14, suggests that flow from the west-northwest capped the clouds -- preventing further vertical development.  Photo was taken with my phone from west-facing window seat midafternoon on January 14, 2014. See also tomorrow's Earth Science Picture of the Day.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Apple; Camera Model: iPhone 4S; Lens: Apple; Focal Length: 4.3mm (35mm equivalent: 35mm); Aperture: f/2.4; Exposure Time: 0.0004 s (1/2513); ISO equiv: 50.