Weather Blog

Puget Sound puts on incredible display of lenticular clouds

Puget Sound puts on incredible display of lenticular clouds
Photo of Lenticular cloud over Mt. Rainier, by YouNews contributor Vanbrunt

As clouds approached from an offshore cold front, it made for perfect conditions to see amazing lenticular clouds across the region.

The display began with several of the clouds forming over the Olympic Mountains Wednesday afternoon, then one particular stunning display formed near Mt. Rainier.

The clouds are caused when the mountains create turbulence and when the air lifts, it condenses into a cloud, but then as the air sinks, the air dries out and is no longer visible. While these clouds look as if they float in place, it's there is actually a steady flow to them.

First, let's look at some time lapse video so you can get a sense of how these clouds flow, yet appear to stay in the same spot. Here is time lapse video from Dr. Dale Ireland in Silverdale:

And here is the view from the University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Building:

And then, the icing on the cake: These photos depict stacked lenticulars that look particularly spooky! (It looks like one cloud, but it's actually several lenticular clouds stacked together like pancakes!)

This one was taken by YouNews contributor Vanbrunt:

Lake Tapps from YouNews contributor oldtymer:

Buckley, from YouNews contributor Chevalier253:

YouNews contributor Diaztony1:

(Bonney Lake) YouNews contributor dprofitt2011:

Bonney Lake: YouNews contributor "Bonkahoney"

YouNews contributor SeaEagle:

This one by KOMO communities producer Jill Blocker:

(This one courtesy:  Brandon Heat)

And here is time lapse video of the event (toward the end) from a south-facing camera at the UW Atmospheric Sciences Dept.: