Incredible -- and rare -- lenticular clouds spotted over England
The Pacific Northwest is no stranger to lenticular clouds over Mt. Rainier but Mother Nature had a treat for residents in northwestern England Thursday.
Several people captured an incredible display of lenticular clouds that formed off the rolling hills in the area.
Flickr user Bob b... took the photo above from Edgerton, England.
Several others Sent in photos to the BBC
Here is a YouTube compilation of some of the BBC images:
The cloud is formed when warm, moist air runs into the mountainous or hilly terrain. 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. (Here is BBC weather broadcaster Carol Kirkwood explaining how the phenomenon occurs
In fact, Flickr user matt.clark25 got time lapse video of the event:
Happy sky watching!