Roll Cloud Over Chicago

A cold front passing through Chicago last week triggered a roll cloud, shown in the timelapse above. These clouds look like spinning horizontal tubes and form in areas where cool, sinking air displaces warmer, moist air to higher altitudes. The moist air is forced up along the cloud’s leading edge, causing it to cool and condense into cloud. Air on the trailing edge sinks downward again, warming and dissipating the cloud. The clouds are a visible form of soliton, or solitary wave, traveling through the atmosphere. They go by several other names, too, including Morning Glory clouds and arcus clouds. (Image credit: A. King; via Colossal)

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