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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.

One Response to “Cloud Streets Behind Cape Verde Islands – January 30th, 2012”

  1. 1
    Amelia Carolina Sparavigna:

    Impressive these cloud patterns that islands create in atmosphere. The image clearly show the Kármán vortex streets, as the repeating patterns of swirling vortices. Fundamental images in EOSNAP to study the atmosphere! Thanks!

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