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CRAZY CLOUDS: Lenticular UFO's!

Nothing screams "Beam me up Scotty" like the UFO looking Lenticular Cloud!

Ufo-cloud-hawaii_ Mauna Kea Rex FeaturesSkier gazing at a flying saucer shaped "UFO-Cloud" over Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Image credit: Rex Features

Because its dramatic appearance and smooth, lens shape, people have been mistaking this cloud for a flying saucer or "visual cover" for UFO's for decades.  


Technically known as "altocumulus lenticularis" clouds, these clouds are stationary and usually form over or downwind of mountain chains.  

Lenticular clouds can form at heights between 6,500 and 16,500 ft, and are called lenticular because of their lens shape

This lenticular cloud was spotted over Patagonia, ArgentinaSaucer shaped lenticular cloud spotted over Patagonia, Argentina.

When strong upper winds carry stable but moist air over a mountains, a series of large-scale standing waves forms on the downwind side.  These waves cause the air to lift and condense into smooth stratiform clouds.

Once the air descends on the back side of the wave, the air is warmed as the cloud evaporates.  


This continual cycle of rising and sinking motion over the same area creates the appearance of stationary, and sometimes multiple stacked, lens shaped lenticular clouds.  

The clouds can be seen as far as 60 miles downwind of the hills or mountains that led to their formation and they are believed to be one of the most common explanations for UFO sightings across the world.

Sometimes these clouds form directly over the summit of mountains dramatically altering thier appearances on an otherwise crystal clear day.  

Lenticular Lenticular clouds over Mt Shasta in California. Image credit: Ruben Garcia


Here are more inspiring images from around the world of the strange, but often beautiful lenticular cloud...

Jim George KING5 Weather Seattle WashingtonDouble stacked lenticular formation over Mt. Rainer near Seattle Washington. Image credit: Jim George KING5 Weather

Lenticular clouds over Sierra NevadaLenticular clouds at sunset over the Sierra Nevadas.  Image credit: Juan Tello 


rainier-lenticularStack of lenticular clouds over the summit of Mt. Rainier, Washington.  Image credit: Kevin Ebi


Enterprise?? No, Lenticular Clouds A dramatic landscape with a "fleet" of lenticular clouds over Svalbard, Norway. Image credit: Daniele Ceccato


UFO Shaped Lenticular Cloud and Volcanic Projectile, Rangipo Desert, Mount Ruapehu, New ZealandUFO shaped lenticular cloud and volcanic projectile, Rangipo Desert, New Zealand.  Image credit: Bevan Percival

Bevan posted this time lapst video of the above scene on YouTube.  It's well worth the watch!  


If you have an idea for a CRAZY CLOUDS topic, you can email me at jkappell@wdrb.com.

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell


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since UFOs means unidentified flying objects, it could still be a UFO if somebody doesn't know what it is. UFOs dont always mean aliens

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