Weather Blog

Mt. Rainier says it can put on a show too...

Mt. Rainier says it can put on a show too...

The Northern Lights have been getting quite a bit of attention around here this week, but Mt. Rainier reminds us it too can cause a few "Wow!"s.

Thursday brought another spooky display of lenticular clouds near the mountain that perhaps made it look like we were getting an extraterrestrial visit, but it's just harmless clouds.

Ryan Verwest and Kevin Freitas each got several good shots of the clouds stacked like pancakes atop each other.

The clouds are caused when Mt. Rainier's summit -- or the Olympics too -- creates 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, there is actually a steady flow to them.

Want proof? Check out this time lapse video of other lenticular clouds over the Olympic Mountains:





Professor Cliff Mass has more photos and some handy charts to help explain more how these clouds form.