Rotor Clouds and Cold Legs

2007-02-11 08:37:48.000 – Neil Lareau,  Observer

Rotor Clouds

Jon Cotton looks at me and says “Jonny Cotton is losing much heat.” Iconcur and we retreat to the relative calm in the lee of the generatorshed. To the east an elongated roll of benign looking cumulus occupies thesky above the Carter-Moriah and Wildcat ranges. Closer inspection revealsa more insidious beast, a rotor cloud, a tumbling eddy the top of which ismarked by heaps of miniscule cloud droplets. Along the upper fringe ofthis cloud a thin veil of pileus can be seen, suggesting the interactionof this rotor (eddy) with the laminar flow directly above it. To the northa thin cap cloud (stratocumulus standing lenticulars) is shrink wrapped tothe form of Mount Jefferson, a peak which above all others in this rangeencourages the formation of such clouds. The cirrus and cirrocumulus highoverhead suggest a few ripples of orographic waves. Over the ocean lowclouds mimic the subtle ridge silhouettes characteristic of eastern mountains. Soon thesun will rise into the scene, and we will rejoice. It has been a whilesince we’ve seen the sun, and today especially as the morning wind gnaws at the backof my knees (and apparently does the same to Jon), the warmth of thatmassive fire ball is going to feel good.

Mornings like these go a long way toward washing away the monotony of fog;grey on grey on white. This dawn also reminds me of why I love this place;the dynamic interaction of air and mountains.

All the fine photos you see here were shot by Jon Cotton.

Twilight from inside

Watching the Moon

Edutrippers waiting for the sun


Neil Lareau,  Observer

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