2006-06-08 11:43:08.000 – Jim Salge,  Observer

Lenticular AND Virga…!

The summit of Mount Washington typically resides in the fog about 70% of the time, so it is no surprise that the view disappeared 24 hours ago now. If you are a frequent visitor of our webcams, you may know the frustration of desperately wanting to see the neighboring mountains around sunset, only to find the view obscured. It is part of life on Mount Washington. An occasional glimpse of something amazing between long interludes in the fog!

Yesterday morning was one of those amazing things worth noting, as it makes for a much more interesting thing to remark upon than fog, fog, fog and fog! Shortly after I had gone to sleep for the morning, a massive lenticular mountain wave cloud formed over the peak. These alone are neat to see, as they look like looming stationary space ships hovering over the peak.

Looking closely though, Tim saw something that none of us have seen before with a lenticular cloud….fall streaks of precipitation began to fall from it! To simplify and exemplify our reason for excitement, lenticular clouds aren’t at all associated with precipitation, just something that they don’t do. These fall streaks, seen in the left part of the picture at right, are called Virga, which means precipitation that falls from a cloud but doesn’t reach the ground.

Sadly though, not only has the precipitation reached the ground now, so too have the clouds, and in the fog we sit, waiting for our next view of something spectacular!


Jim Salge,  Observer

Find Older Posts