Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Baby Birds and a Lesson in Clouds

In the last few weeks, I've noticed a strange cloud formation above our house.  The clouds seem to line up in nice rows.  I don't recall ever seeing them like this before.  The first pictures was taken a few weeks ago, the second, last night.  Here's what the sky looked like in the other direction last night:

The scientist in me got me researching the internet this morning to see what causes these cloud formations, and I thought I'd share, since it's pretty neat.  They are "cirrocumulus clouds".  The bottom pictures is a typical formation.

According to a NASA site, and a glider pilot chat board that I found, the rows develop when thermal "troughs" or winds line up.  A glider pilot called them "highways in the sky", as, according to him, there is no wind directly below the clouds, as all of the "downdrafts" or "updrafts" from the temperature change are in the "empty" rows.  Pretty cool huh?

I also found this fascinating story about Australia's "Morning Glory" natural phenomenon, probably the most spectacular example of this cloud phenomenon or cloud formation.  It apparently attracts pilots from all over the world.  Here's another link that shows this.  Amazing!
Finally, I got this shot this morning of a baby Robin on our fence.  How did I know it was a Robin?  The mom/dad was scolding me nearby!


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  2. I've been seeing those clouds too, great photos. I've been keeping the scientist in me in the corner. Only so much I can fit in my head!

  3. Yep..... a baby robin... (it looks like a robin too). I was hoping to get to Australia.... before we left here... but not to be. It's still an 8 hour flight, to the west coast (Perth), but that is not where I really wanted to see, so it would have been a bit longer of a trip!!! An amazing place.... maybe some day. The cloud info was cool, thanks.