What are Lenticular Clouds?

Lenticular Clouds are lens-shaped clouds, and are usually formed at a very high altitude. These clouds can be divided into three categories: altocumulus standing lenticular (ACSL), cirrocumulus standing lenticular (CCSL), and stratocumulus standing lenticular (SCSL). These clouds are usually formed perpendicular to the direction of the wind. The lens shape of the cloud is often mistaken by people as a ‘UFO’ or unidentified flying object.

Now that we know what are lenticular clouds, let us understand how is it formed. These kinds of clouds are usually found on the peak of the mountain or mountainous regions. The winds usually blow downwards. When the temperature of these winds drop below certain level, the moisture in the air condenses and forms into a lenticular cloud above the top of the mountain. However, when the temperature rises again, these clouds transform back into air moisture, and the cloud disappears. In some cases, continuous flow of such downwards waves form many layers of lenticular clouds. These are known as wave clouds.

These are often mistaken as UFO because the shape bears striking resemblance to a flying saucer. Sometimes, very bright color are seen near the outer edges of such lenticular clouds.

Pilots of majority of the aircrafts avoid such clouds because of the air movement near that area and the dampness of the air. However, gliders are often attracted to these clouds as they signify the perfect location of the movement of the air mass, which is all required to glide.

These shapes look provide a remarkable panorama for photographers and visitors. Besides, it looks really beautiful if seen from an altitude, especially from an aircraft. One can find several wallpapers of these clouds. Photographers enjoy capturing these formations into their camera. Many people who live near cold mountain regions have now become accustomed to the changes in the shape of Lenticular clouds and thay are now able to make weather predictions based on these changes.

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