Earth Snapshot RSS Feed Twitter
 
 
 
 

Archive for Clouds

Clouds Along the Namib Desert Coast, Namibia

24.7S 15.2E

November 25th, 2009 Category: Clouds

Namibia - November 16th, 2009

Namibia - November 16th, 2009

The sands of the Namib Desert appear orange near the coast, changing to rusty red further inland. The desert stretches along 2000 km (1200 mi) of Namibia’s coastline. It is common to see clouds and fog hugging the shoreline, as can be observed here, a phenomenon caused by the interaction of moist sea air and dry desert air.

East of the desert, whose average width of the desert is only 113 km (70 mi), are the Naukluft Mountains in the Hardap Region. This massif in central Namibia forms the easternmost part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. They are known for their wildlife, including mountain zebras and leopards. The mountains have many small streams and waterfalls, while the Never Ending Hills lie to their east.

Cloud Vortex Off Alaska-Canada Coast

56.9N 141.3W

October 3rd, 2009 Category: Clouds

Cloud vortex off coast of Alaska and Canada - September 23rd, 2009

Cloud vortex off coast of Alaska and Canada - September 23rd, 2009

A large cloud vortex swirls off the coasts of Alaska, USA, and Canada, near the Yukon and British Columbia Provinces. Most of the Canadian terrain is hidden beneath the clouds associated with the vortex.

However, some Alaskan land can be seen, including the snow-capped peaks of the Wrangell, Chugach and Saint Elias Mountains. The mouth of the Copper River can be spotted along the coast, spilling tan sediments into the Gulf of Alaska.

Wave Clouds Off the Eastern Coast of Brazil

22.9S 43.2W

September 18th, 2009 Category: Clouds

Brazil - September 3rd, 2009

Brazil - September 3rd, 2009

Wave clouds leave rippled patterns in the skies off the east coast of Brazil. Near the shore, the cities of São Paulo (left) and Rio de Janeiro (right) appear as grey areas amidst the green of coastal mountains and forests.

A wave cloud is a cloud form created by atmospheric standing waves.  When there is enough moisture in the atmosphere, clouds form at the crests of these waves, but evaporate in the descending parts due to adiabatic heating. This creates the characteristic repeating cloud/clear bands.

Cloud Vortex North of Baffin Island, Canada

73.3N 87.8W

September 11th, 2009 Category: Clouds

Vortex by Canada - August 15th, 2009

Vortex by Canada - August 15th, 2009

Vortex

Vortex

The light tan peninsula near the center of this image is part of Baffin Island, part of  the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, in the territory of Nunavut. Above Baffin Island is Devon Island, whose notable feature is the bright white Devon Ice Cap.

Moving east, Baffin Bay is mostly covered by clouds. Some of these have taken on the swirled form of a vortex, as can be observed in the close-up.

Below Baffin Island, part of mainland Nunavut can be seen. The large, sediment-laden, greenish body of water in the lower left quadrant is Rasmussen Basin, a natural waterway through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It separates King William Island (to the north-west) from the mainland.

To the east of this basin is Pelly Bay, a natural inlet and an arm of the Gulf of Boothia. Like Rasmussen Basin, it also appears greenish, although this coloration is limited to its southern reaches.

Large Cloud Vortex North of Scandinavia

71.9N 31.6E

August 27th, 2009 Category: Clouds

Large Vortex North of Scandinavia - August 26th, 2009

Large Vortex North of Scandinavia - August 26th, 2009

Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton

A large cloud vortex swirls over the Barents Sea, north of Norway, Finland and parts of Russia. A vortex is a spinning, often turbulent, flow of fluid whose speed and rate of rotation are greatest at the center, and decrease progressively moving outwards.

The area of convection partially covers a sizeable phytoplankton bloom that has been flourishing in the area for over a week (click here for previous article). The close-up focuses on a part of the bloom that is visible between the bands of clouds.