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Ship Tracks Off Coast of Peru’s Piura Region

8S 82.9W

October 6th, 2010 Category: Clouds

Peru - September 24th, 2010

The hashed lines in the clouds off the coast of Peru are long, linear cloud formations are known as ship tracks. These form when water molecules gather around the exhaust that passing ships release into the air, similar to the way condensation trails form in the air around the exhaust of passing airplanes.

Although much of the rainforest area is covered by clouds, Peru’s Piura Region, the tan colored area by the coast at the top of the image, can be observed clearly. “Punta Pariñas” in Piura is South America’s most western point.

The territory of the Piura Region has many climate variations due to its geographical location. It is just 4 degrees south of the equator, yet receives two ocean currents at the same time: the cold Humboldt Current (13-20 °C 55-68 F) and the warm El Niño Current (20-27 °C, 68-80 F). This makes the Piura Region a land that is both tropical and arid at the same time, “The Land where the Tropics meets the Desert”.

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