Lenticular clouds

Lenticular clouds over the Big Island Hawaii

A couple of days ago, Big Island skies were graced by lenticular clouds. These kinds of clouds are uncommon in Hawaii, but strong winds blowing up against Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa created perfect conditions.

Lenticular clouds appear to hover in one spot, but while they don’t move, they can change shape constantly. These two clouds behaved quite differently. The one on the right retained its basic shape all day. The one on the left was constantly morphing from one shape to another. Alas, I only got these photos because I was working and to photograph the clouds without an array of wires in the foreground meant a walk down the road a ways.

These clouds look like they’re close to the ground, but they form in the troposphere, between 6,500 and 20,000 feet. By the end of the day, the cloud on the left was largely broken up and disappearing, but the one on the right was still going strong, albeit while becoming masked by lower level clouds.

Lenticular clouds over the Big Island Hawaii

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