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Kármán Vortex Streets and Dust by Cape Verde Islands

16.0N 24W

May 25th, 2011 Category: Clouds, Dust Storms

Cape Verde - May 18th, 2011

As dust from the Sahara Desert reaches the Cape Verde islands on the right side of this image, an interesting cloud phenomenon can be observed on the left.

These interesting clouds seemingly trailing off the islands are Kármán vortex streets (or von Kármán vortex streets). These repeating patterns of swirling vortices are  caused by the unsteady separation of flow of a fluid over bluff bodies (in this case, the islands).

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