Places– of Charm

Do you enjoy looking at clouds?  Many people believe van Gogh’s masterpiece, Starry Night, was inspired by this unusual cloud formation called Kelvin Helmholtz formations. These clouds form when there’s a velocity difference across the interface between two fluids: for example, wind blowing over water.

You’ll often see the characteristic wave structure in this type of cloud when two different layers of air in our atmosphere are moving at different speeds. The upper layers of air are moving at higher speeds and will often scoop the top of the cloud layer into these wave-like rolling structures.



3 thoughts on “Places– of Charm

  1. Rud Row

    Kathleen, I have seen these clouds on windy days. There’s a difference in densities of the air– during a temperature inversion.

  2. Dash Hamelton

    Ruddy, the Kelvin Helmholtz clouds are good indicators of atmospheric instability. As a pilot of a small craft, I know I’ll get turbulence!

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