Is That A Flying Saucer On Top Of Mt. Rainier?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Some have thought they sure looked like alien ships, but the "flying saucer" clouds sometimes seen over Mt. Rainier have a much less spooky explanation.

They're really called "lenticular" clouds, and they're caused is formed when warm, moist air runs into the surface of Mt. Rainier. The mountain's topography forces the air upward, which cools and condenses the air -- turning it into a cloud.

As the air sinks back on the other side of the mountain, it dries out and the cloud dissipates. That's why it just hangs over the summit area.

(Although it looks like it is "hanging" over the mountain, air is continually flowing over the summit.)

For more information, check out the KOMO Weather FAQ.

Your Photos

YouNews Get your fish on! Get your fish on!
Lowland lakes opening coming soon, tie up your flies and grease your leaders. This fat Rainbow caught in Lake Leland (Quilcene) couple days ago.
YouNews Early morning photos Early morning photos
Took these shots around 7am Easter Sunday using a Nikon D3000
DSLR and a 200mm telephoto lens.
YouNews 12th Egg!!!!! 12th Egg!!!!!
Even the Easter Bunny is a 12!!!!!!!!!!!