Lenticular cloud?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
yodog Senior Member • Posts: 1,784
Re: Lenticular cloud?

Yes, or more formally "Altocumulus Standing Lenticular (ACSL)" clouds and often referred to as "wave" clouds. They are formed in stable conditions and caused by strong winds flowing perpendicular to a mountain range. A ripple or oscillating effect occurs over and downwind of the mountain barrier, similar to waves caused from a pebble tossed in a calm lake. If sufficient moisture is present, clouds form in the areas of the ripple pattern where there is upward vertical lift and disappear in the descending or downward portion of the wave, forming the lens-shaped appearance. I have heard the term "pagoda" clouds used to describe when the clouds take on a layered vertically-stacked appearance, as shown to some degree in your photo, although typically with a little more separation of the layers in the vertical.

For airline pilots, these clouds offer a visual warning of moderate to severe turbulence/wind shear. Having lived in Reno, NV (located in the lee of the Sierra Nevada) for several years, these are a fairly common occurrences in the winter months and can make for truly amazing sunsets.

I really like what you've done with the black and white conversion. It takes on the look of an Ansel Adams photograph! Nice capture! That would make a great print.

While I am here, I looked through your image collection on smugmug and am really impressed with your work. As an aviation enthusiast, I think one of my favorites was the Patriots jet passing by Alcatraz. So many great photos!  Thank you for sharing your gallery.


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