Lenticular Clouds

Lenticular Clouds

A lenticular cloud is a lens-shaped cloud that normally develops on the downwind side of a mountain or mountain range. This occurs when stable, moist air flows over a mountain, creating a series of oscillating waves. If the temperature at the crest of the wave equals the dew point temperature, condensation occurs in a lens formation. As the air falls down the trough of the wave, where the temperature and dew point temperature are not equal, evaporation occurs. Thus, a wave cloud, or a series of lenticular clouds, is capable of forming. These are often mistaken for UFOs because of the saucer-like shape. They can separate into altocumulus standing lenticular, stratocumulus standing lenticular, and cirrocumulus standing lenticular clouds.

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