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Cloud Vortex Near Adelaide, Australia

34.9S 138.5E

March 21st, 2013 Category: Clouds

Australia – March 21st, 2013

A large cloud vortex swirls off the coast of South Australia, near Adelaide. Visible north of the vortex center are the Gulf of Spencer (larger, west) and the Gulf of St. Vincent (smaller, east). Such vortices can form for a variety of reasons, including upper air circulation effects, mechanical effects induced by nearby mountains, surface heating from the ocean, and association with a cold front.

Cloud Vortex and Culgoa River, Australia

28.7S 147.6E

February 28th, 2013 Category: Clouds, Rivers

Australia – February 19th, 2013

A cloud vortex spins over the ocean east of the coast of Queensland, Australia. Inland, parts of the Darling Riverine Plains can be viewed, with rivers cutting across the dry landscape.

Visible near the center of the left half of the image, near a large green patch, is the Culgoa River. It is a watercourse that is part of the Darling catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the south west district of Queensland and the Orana district of New South Wales, Australia.

The river is a continuation of the western branch of the Balonne River in southern Queensland, near Dirranbandi, and flows generally south-west across parts of the Darling Riverine Plains, joined by ten tributaries, including the Balonne and Birrie rivers, before forming its confluence with the Darling River near Bourke; descending 78 metres (256 ft) over the course of its 489 kilometres (304 mi) length.

Cubbie Station, located on the Culgoa River, is situated adjacent to a large diversion channel which permits a large farm, under licence to store 460,000 megalitres (16,000×106 cu ft) of river water. According to downstream farmers in 2008, large cotton farms, such as Cubbie Station, have reduced the traditional flow of the Culgoa River by one third. By 2009, downstream farmers where claiming that due to upstream water entitlements on the Culgoa River, since 2000, the Lower Balonne floodplain had not received enough water to flood the plains. Prior to the granting of these rights, the Lower Balonne River flooded every two or three years; impacting the sustainability of flora, fauna, birdlife, and economic returns from grazing livestock and cropping.

Cloud Vortex Southeast of Greenland

59.4N 40W

February 11th, 2013 Category: Clouds

Greenland – January 26th, 2013

A large area of convection forming a spiral cloud vortex (bottom right quadrant) can be seen southeast of the southern tip of Greenland (upper left quadrant). It is a visible example of a convection current, the transfer of heat energy by the movement or flow of a substance from one position to another.

Dust and Cloud Vortex Streets by Canary Islands

30.7N 16.1W

March 17th, 2012 Category: Clouds, Dust Storms

Dust off West Africa - March 17th, 2012

A plume of dust blows southwestward off the coast of Morocco and over the Atlantic Ocean, passing north of the Canary Islands (click here for previous images).

Visible through the veil of dust are  patterns swirled, roughly symmetrical clouds. This phenomenon is known as cloud vortex streets, or von Karman vortices. They are created by winds rushing over islands in the Atlantic.

Cloud Streets Behind Cape Verde Islands – January 30th, 2012

16.0N 24W

January 30th, 2012 Category: Clouds, Image of the day

Cape Verde - January 19th, 2012

The roughly symmetrical patterns of swirls and curves in the clouds in this image are cloud vortex streets, also known as von Karman vortices. They were created by low-level winds rushing over the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of northwestern Africa.

Von Karman vortices form nearly everywhere that fluid flow is disturbed by an object. In this image, the “object” that is disturbing the fluid flow is the group of Cape Verde islands. As a prevailing wind encounters the island, the disturbance in the flow propagates downstream of the island in the form of a double row of vortices which alternate their direction of rotation.

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