Photos Show Wavelike Clouds In Wyoming. What Caused It?

Outdoor enthusiasts couldn’t help but post pictures of the stunning sky over the northern Wyoming mountains.

On Tuesday, December 6, clouds over the Big Horn mountains took on the shape of breaking waves, providing Sheridan, Wyoming residents with a rare sight. People watching the clouds posted pictures of the breathtaking scene to Facebook groups.

Rachel Gordon posted “Big Horn Waves” in the Facebook group for Wyoming through The Lens. When other people enquired about sharing the images with credit to her, Gordon replied, “Share away! These clouds are not mine. Everyone can take pleasure in them.

What then results in their wavelike formation? According to Cowboy State Daily, it is a rare phenomenon known as Kelvin-Helmholtz instability after Lord Kelvin and Hermann von Helmholtz investigated the physics underlying the appearances.

According to the outlet, it happens when two layers of air move at different rates, with the top layer picking up the lower layer as it moves more quickly.
According to the Center for Science Education, the mountains played a role in its formation.

Post based on the center’s website. Wave tops and cloudless troughs show that air continues to flow through the atmosphere after the Wind over a mountain produced by intricate evaporation and condensation patterns. These clouds develop when two air currents have different wind speeds or directions.

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