More Wave Clouds

A few days ago there was a great example of trapped lee waves (also known as trapped mountain waves). These waves occur when the wind speed increases rapidly with height and the atmospheric stability decreases above a mountain-top or ridge-top stable layer. This results in a series of lee waves (and clouds) downstream of the mountain. This wind and stability situation is fairly common—especially in the winter.

Panoramic image of Altocumulus Standing Lenticular (ASCL) just before sunset.
Panoramic image of Altocumulus Standing Lenticular (ASCL) just before sunset.
Cigar-shaped lee wave clouds.
Cigar-shaped lee wave clouds.
Another example of lee wave clouds.
Another example of lee wave clouds.
GOES-16 visible satellite imagery shows numerous wave clouds across northern Arizona
GOES-16 visible satellite imagery shows numerous wave clouds across northern Arizona

Towards sunset some higher-level Altocumulus Standing Lenticular (ACSL) clouds became more prominent and as the sun set became quite colorful. The image at the top of this post was taken a few minutes before sunset and is a panorama composed of five individual images taken with an ultra-wide 16 mm lens.

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