This photograph of Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds was taken in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Benjamin Foster/UCAR
Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds look like breaking waves in the ocean. After wind blows up and over a barrier, like a mountain, the air continues flowing through the atmosphere in a wavelike pattern. Complex evaporation and condensation patterns create the capped tops and cloudless troughs of the waves.
These clouds form when there is a difference in the wind speed or direction between two wind currents in the atmosphere.
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