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Wave Clouds in Dust Off Coast of West Africa

19.6N 19.4W

October 11th, 2012 Category: Dust Storms

West Africa – October 10th, 2012

Dust from the Sahara Desert continues to be carried off the coast of West Africa and westward over the Atlantic Ocean by strong winds. The dust flies off the shores of Senegal (above) and Mauritania (below). Here, some parallel rows of wave clouds can be seen amidst the veil of dust, west of the Bay of Arguin.

Wave Clouds by Mornington Island, Australia

16.5S 139.4E

August 16th, 2012 Category: Clouds

Australia – August 16th, 2012

The atmospheric internal waves that form wave clouds are created as stable air flows over a raised land feature. In this image, the raised land feature is Mornington Island, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. As an air mass travels through the wave, it undergoes repeated uplift and descent. If there is enough moisture in the atmosphere, clouds will form at the cooled crests of these waves. In the descending part of the wave, those clouds will evaporate due to adiabatic heating, leading to the characteristic clouded and clear bands.

Wave Clouds Near Karabogas Bay

40.7N 52.8E

April 24th, 2012 Category: Clouds

Caspian Sea - April 14th, 2012

Wave clouds can be observed southwest of Karabogas Bay, in Turkmenistan, by the Caspian Sea. Such clouds are created as stable air flows over a raised land feature such as a mountain range. As an air mass travels through the wave, it undergoes repeated uplift and descent. If there is enough moisture in the atmosphere, clouds will form at the cooled crests of these waves. In the descending part of the wave, those clouds will evaporate due to adiabatic heating, leading to the characteristic clouded and clear bands.

Wave Clouds Over Apennine Mountains, Italy

42.6N 11.9E

January 3rd, 2012 Category: Clouds, Lakes, Mountains, Sediments

Italy - December 26th, 2011

Sediments line the Adriatic coast of Italy (right) while the western coast is mostly clear. Several rounded crater lakes are visible near the west coast in the central part of the country, the largest of which is Lake Bolsena, formed starting 370,000 years ago following the collapse of a caldera of the Vulsini volcanic complex into a deep aquifer.

Visible northeast of the lake are wave clouds, formed by atmospheric internal waves that are created as stable air flows over a raised land feature such as a mountain range, and can form either directly above or in the lee of the feature. Here, the wave clouds have formed over the Apennine Mountains.

Wave Clouds Near Mississippi River Delta, USA

28.7N 88.7W

December 8th, 2010 Category: Clouds, Rivers

USA - December 6th, 2010

Wave clouds south of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, create multiple parallel rows of white lines of the Gulf of Mexico. Visible near the city and the clouds is the delta of the Mississippi River.

The upper course of the river can be seen to the north, flowing through the southern central USA. The river flows southward for 2,350 mi (3,780 km), before finally emptying into the gulf. The land in the valley around it appears tan in color; much of it is used for agriculture.

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