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  • Melissa Preston

    Last week, Birmingham, Alabama got treated to a special cloudy day, thanks to some Kelvin-Helmholtz waves, shown above. When a layer of faster moving fluid shears a slower moving fluid, this instability can form and cause some spectacular mixing. In this case, the lower, slower fluid was cool and moist enough to contain clouds, enabling us to see the effect with the naked eye. The same mechanism is responsible for the shape of breaking ocean waves and can even be seen in the atmospheres of gas giants like Saturn and Jupiter. (submitted by David B)

  • Faith O'Connor

    Kelvin-Helmholtz Wave clouds Birmingham, AL by Kelvin Helmholtz 12/16/2011

  • Michael Gass

    Tsunami-Shaped Clouds Roll Across Birmingham, Alabama Sky

  • Eileen Sirmans

    "Kelvin-Helmholtz waves." Whether seen in the sky or in the ocean, this type of turbulence always forms when a fast-moving layer of fluid slides on top of a slower, thicker layer, dragging its surface. Water waves, for example, form when the layer of fluid above them (i.e., the air) is moving faster than the layer of fluid below (i.e., the water). When the difference between the wind and water speed increases to a certain point, the waves "break" — their crests lurch forward — and they take on the telltale Kelvin-Helmholtz shape. [ Astonishing Video Shows a Face in the Clouds ]

  • Ann Khorite

    Birmingham, Alabama at midday on December 16, 2011. This photo is of the Alabama Air National Guard facility. From the Cloud Appreciation Society… The breaking waveforms of Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are the result of shearing winds up at cloud level. A particular type of turbulence can develop in a layer of cirrus cloud, which happens to form below an inversion between air currents of differing speeds and/or directions. Sea waves break as their bases are slowed down upon reaching shallow water and their crests surge ahead. Cloud waves break in the same way: when their crests are pushed ahead of their troughs by the difference in air currents.

  • Symanthia Guthrie

    Wave clouds above Birmingham, Alabama, December 2011

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The breaking waveforms of Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are the result of shearing winds up at cloud level. A particular type of turbulence can develop in a layer of cirrus cloud, which happens to form below an inversion between air currents of differing speeds and/or directions. Sea waves break as their bases are slowed down upon reaching shallow water and their crests surge ahead. Cloud waves break in the same way: when their crests are pushed ahead of their troughs by the difference in air currents. Clouds on 12/16 taken from downtown Birmingham

Fog rolls in over condos in Panama City Beach, FL. Photo by JR Hott / Panhandle Helicopter, Feb 5, 2012

I once drove into a storm like this, the tempreture dropped 30 degrees in a matter of minutes and the wind changed directions! Not something I want to do again!

Roll Cloud - there's something I find so majestic about clouds.

See an impressive mountain scenery with hunging clouds in the Rocky Mountains.

Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds (from WunderPhotographer CythiaSue) wunderground.com

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

AIR - Amazing Clouds. (****Reminds me of a nudibranch.)

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Birmingham, Alabama