Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cool Wave Clouds

With warm, stable air blowing over the mountains we get these neat waves of clouds in the lee of the mountains. Below is the MODIS image from this afternoon.

It's not often that Salt Lake is on the lee side of the mountain. The 500 mb winds show the winds blowing from the north-east.

Here's a look from the visible satellite.

And you can even pick out the wave clouds in this video...

Why do these form? Because stable air from upstream is forced over the mountain barrier. The air oscillates about it's equilibrium level, kind of like a spring, until it it is damped out.

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