Phenomena

Wave Clouds

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In this video, Sixty Symbols tackles the physics of wave clouds. When air flows over an obstacle like a mountain, the air can begin to oscillate downstream, forming what is known as a lee wave. As the air bobs up and down, it will cool or warm according to its altitude. At cooler conditions, if the air is moist, it can condense into a cloud at the peak of its oscillation. If you observe this behavior over time, you get what appear to be regularly-spaced stripes of clouds. This is actually a pretty common phenomenon to see, depending on where you live. It’s an example of internal waves in the atmosphere.  (Video credit: Sixty Symbols)

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