Clouds and Seasons

At least in the West, we can to some degree tell the seasons by the clouds playing in the sky.  Summer brings those great puffy cumulus clouds that resemble cotton balls.  Winter brings lenticular clouds.  These are stationary lens shaped clouds – think flying saucers.  They form when moist winds flow over mountain ranges and drop down the other side, then up and down the next slope.  At the top of the waves of wind, the air condenses to form a cloud.  Despite the strong winds below, the cloud remains relatively stationary.  I watched this lenticular cloud all day and it didn’t budge from its spot.

Lenticular cloud over Cody

Lenticular cloud over Cody

Which means I got to photograph it a second time from a different spot:

Lenticular cloud from yard

Lenticular cloud from yard

And finally right before the sun went down.  Here’s it’s finally starting to lose its shape.

Sunset on lenticular cloud

Sunset on lenticular cloud

We rarely see lenticular clouds in the summer around here, just because the type of winds that form them are more prevalent in the winter.  Start watching the clouds in your area and see if you can tell the seasons just by the clouds.

What is your favorite type of cloud?  I like any that light up during sunrise or sunset!

Sunrise

Sunrise

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Clouds and Seasons

  1. Kay McAfee

    Amazing captures of the lenticular (a term I’d not heard before) cloud at different times of the day. It seems that clouds are more spectacular in the “wide-open spaces” of our country. I hear folks around here speak of “cold” clouds and “summer” clouds. My favorites here in Arkansas are the summer “thunderheads” – especially when the rain is needed. When they tower to 40,000 feet, they take on the most spectacular countenance, but the downside is that any low “wall” clouds beneath those massive cells may drop a tornado at any time.

    • I love thunderheads too Kay. Ours don’t usually drop any tornadoes, but we can get some wicked winds and hail from them.

  2. Mary Anne

    Beautiful photos! Thanks for posting this information. I was just wondering about this.

    • Did you see that cloud yesterday Mary Anne? It was so cool how it just stayed in one place all day long. The winds last night sent it on its was I supposed.

  3. Betsy Holter

    I love it – I thought I was the only one witha picture file of clouds!

    • Betsy, when you live in the West with these gorgeous wide open skies, how could you NOT have a cloud file? 🙂

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