Altocumulus Standing Lenticular over Mount Etna

April 27, 2023



Photographer: Giovanni Tumino   

Summary Author: Giovanni Tumino; Jim Foster

Lenticular clouds in the Mediterranean region are commonly observed, especially in the presence of intense westerly or south-westerly flows in the vicinity of large and very high reliefs or mountain massifs, such as Mount Etna, shown above. Not infrequently, just above the summit of Etna, one can see these wonderful cloud formations arranged on several levels, one on top of the other. In this case, the lenticular is capping the peak.

Lenticular clouds (altocumulus standing lenticularis) get their name from the shape they take on, often resembling a lens. They tend to form at a 90-degree angle to the flow of the prevailing wind direction when stable but moist air is lifted over a high, geographic obstacle, such as a mountain range, forming a mountain wave on the lee side of the range. Lenticulars take shape at the crests of these wave. Photo taken on December 16, 2022, at 17:37 local time.

Photo details: Canon EOS R mirrorless camera; Canon RF zoom lens, 100-500 mm; 200 mm; f/7.1; 8-second exposure; ISO 3200.


Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy Coordinates: 37.769112, 15.118567

Related Links:

Mount Etna Eruption, Lenticular Clouds and Waning Moon

Giovanni’s Website