Monday, May 6, 2013


The peak of the Wallowa Mountains in Eastern Oregon

Last Saturday was a spectacular day in Eastern Oregon, with the sky painted with fast-changing cumulus clouds. These photos I took on my mission trip to Halfway show the amazing display that God gave us that day. There is a lot of scientific information about clouds and their formation, but this simple explanation is enough for the average reader. The clouds that dominated the sky on Saturday were cumulus-fractus.
In meteorology, a cloud is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body. These suspended particles are also known as aerosols.

Cumulus-fractus clouds on Saturday May 4, 2013 in Eastern Oregon
The international cloud classification system is based on the fact clouds in their most basic forms can show free-convective upward growth like cumulus, appear in non-convective layered sheets such as stratus, or take the form of thin fibrous wisps, as in the case of cirrus. Prefixes are used in connection with clouds to express variations or complexities in these basic forms or to specify middle or high altitude ranges. These include strato- for low clouds with limited convection that form mostly in uneven layers, cumulo- for complex highly-convective storm clouds, nimbo- for thick layered clouds of some complexity that can produce moderate to heavy precipitation, alto- for middle clouds, and cirro- for high clouds; the latter two of which may be of simple or moderately complex structure.

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