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Meteorological optical phenomenon

  1. Jul 3, 2006 #1


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    Snapped this pic the other day. At first, I was drawn by the subtlety of the central tip of the cloud, which is illuminated by reflected light from the sunlit mound of cloud between it and us, but I was wowed by these fanlike structures in the sky above the cloud.

    Those are not digital artifacts or anything, they are naked-eye effects. They are some sort of shadow, cast over the top of the cloud by the sun. I don't quite understand what phenomenon has created them though. Any takers?

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  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2006 #2
    That's most unusual. The cumulus cloud clearly indicates instability while the reflections and shadow indicate a hazy smoggy layer which usually only exist in stable high pressure subsidence inversions.

    So, could this be a transient cold front just about to pass? Just a guess.
  4. Jul 11, 2006 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

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