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Unbelievable cloud formations

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Wired Science published photos of the Morning Glory phenomenon which “is the result of the particular configuration of the land and sea on the Cape York Peninsula, in a remote part of Australia.”

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The easterly trade winds push the sea breeze across the peninsula during the daytime, which meets the sea breeze from the west coast in the late evening. The collision produces a wave disturbance moving inland to the southwest that is a key part of the cloud formation.

As moist sea air is lifted to the crest of the waves, it cools and condensation forms a cloud. Sometimes there is just one wave, but Smith has seen as many as 10 together in a series.

“If you look at the clouds, it looks as if they are rolling backwards,” Smith said. “But in fact the clouds are continuously formed at the leading edge and continuously eroded at the trailing edge. That gives a rolling appearance.”

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Written by Valerie Curl

October 1, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Posted in Environment

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