Image of the Day: Lenticular Clouds over the Rockies

Credit: Richard Hahn


These phenomenal lenticular clouds were observed near Estes Park, Colo., in early January on the south side of Deer Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. 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.