Monday, November 16, 2009

Stunning Lenticular Cloud Formations

If you believe that UFOs exist, these cloud formations just might make you reconsider.A cloud is a collection of billions of droplets of water or ice. These droplets are so tiny and light that they can float in the air. Clouds are formed through three processes: evaporation, cooling and condensation. Clouds are vital to human kind. They carry water that falls on the ground either as rain or ice/snow which support all forms of life. Sometimes when it brings tornadoes it can wreak havoc to communities. There are ten main cloud types and their name tells how they look and what their altitude is. Altocumulus is a high heap cloud. Cirrus clouds are the highest and stratus are the lowest in altitude. Cumulonimbus clouds are the biggest reaching up to 9.7 km (6 mi) above ground and can hold up to half a million tons of water. Clouds are further classified into 13 sub types and one of the most distinguished is the lenticularis.Lenticular clouds are very unique type of clouds caused by a wave wind pattern created by mountains. These high altitude stationary-looking clouds are normally aligned at right angles to the direction of the wind. When a current of moist air is pushed upwards as it moves over a mountain, moisture in the air condenses and forms these clouds. They seem to keep their shape for hours since winds constantly blow over the mountain thus continually renewing the cloud forms. Because of their lens appearance and smooth saucer-like shape, the clouds have been mistaken as flying saucers. Sometimes they can also look like a giant beret or a stack of pancakes or dinner plates. While power pilots tend to avoid getting near these clouds because of the turbulence that accompany them, gliders actively seek them out as it provides a possibility to gain altitude or fly long distances when soaring.

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