Lenticular clouds over Colorado

I love lenticular clouds, and used to see them all the time over the Owens Valley of California. This photo was taken by Richard Hahn, who describes it along with co-author Jim Foster:

The photo above showing a phenomenal display of lenticular clouds was observed near Estes Park, Colorado on the evening of January 5, 2012. I was on the south side of Deer Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park when the setting Sun lit up the western sky in shades of copper and tangerine. Lenticular clouds are a type of wave cloud that typically occur on the lee side of mountain ranges and form when air is forced upward as it moves over higher terrain. In winter, these clouds are often accompanied by downsloping winds ushering in warmer weather to the Front Range of the Rockies. The lack of snow in the foreground is evidence of prior downsloping and of the relatively warm, dry conditions that have prevailed in Colorado during the early winter. Photo taken at 5:02 p.m.

To see this in all its splendor, click to enlarge:

h/t: Diane G.


  1. BilBy
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Lenticular clouds pfff. That’s God saying thanks to David Attenborough.

  2. Posted January 31, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Amazing picture!

  3. Occam
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Produced in Technicolor by Cecil B. De Mille, right?
    How can one not be awed by such a sight? How can one not believe in Meteorology?
    Let’s petition for the erection of a Tower of Meteorology on the site.

    • sasqwatch
      Posted January 31, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Quit talking dirty; this is a family website.

      Besides, it’s been done. There’s plenty of Towers of Meterology already.

      • Occam
        Posted January 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        The second picture you linked presumably shows an Atheist Meteorologist at prayer?
        As for talking dirty, the Guardian is supposed to be a family newspaper, and yet it carries a Botton plug.

        • sasqwatch
          Posted January 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink


  4. Newish Gnu
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I don’t remember where I learned about the Cloud Appreciation Society. It may have been right here at WEIT. If you like clouds, give it a visit:


  5. Chris Booth
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Look up in the sky! Those lenticular clouds!
    They’ll bring out the worst of the credulous crowds–
          “They’re ufos” they’ll say,
          “Come take us,” they’ll bray….
    Though some will be grim in aluminum shrouds….

  6. MadScientist
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Oooooo… I want that painted on my wall!

  7. Mary
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Incredible….looks like a painting.

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