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Lenticular Time Lapse 02-03-12

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Published on Feb 3, 2012

Lots of lenticular clouds surrounded the summit on the morning of February 3, 2012. Lenticular clouds most often form in the lee of mountain ranges, where wave action in the upper air has been induced by the aforementioned mountains range. On this particular day, the lenticulars became stacked, which indicates that there are various layers of moist and dry air in the part of the atmosphere that the clouds are forming in.

Because of the fact that these clouds form on the crest of a wave of air, the clouds appear to be standing still. This property has led to the term "standing lenticulars". In reality, the clouds is constantly forming on the upward side of the wave, and dissipating on the downward side of the wave. Also, the exact shape and size of the clouds can change very rapidly. All these properties are shown well when you look at the clouds in time lapse, such as in this video, where more than 10 minutes of real-time video has been sped up to fit into just over 30 seconds.

Mount Washington Observatory is a nonprofit, membership-supported research and educational institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create Earth's weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been observing Mount Washington's incredible extremes, conducting scientific research, educating the public about the science of weather and climate and amassing one of North America's longest and most unique climate records. For weather reports, webcams, photos and more, visit MountWashington.org.

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