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Thread: Cloud Ripples

  1. #1 Cloud Ripples 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Driving in my car
    Not the best pic I know. Facing west, took photo near my house and trying to figure out how the ripples formed. Is it a combination of gusty winds and temperature at higher altitude? Have the clouds run into an invisible wall?

    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  3. #2  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    They are altostratus undulatus (Geek talk for undulating high layered clouds). They tend to form in regions where there is a local temperature inversion (temperature normally decreases with altitude, an inversion is where it doesn't). This restricts vertical motion so any disturbances manifest mostly in the horizontal direction like waves on a pond. Mostly moving sideways with a small amount of up and down. In areas where there is slight upward motion or downward motion the temperature changes and water vapour condenses into a cloud and evaporates in the peaks and troughs of the wave leading to the observed ripple effect.

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