Saturday, June 6, 2015

Debunking the Myth of Lenticular Clouds

by Anton Antonio
June 3, 2015

Clouds have continuously mystified man.  Perhaps, “mistyfied” more than “mystified” since clouds are a visible mass of condensed water vapor in the atmosphere; typically high above the ground.  Clouds are the most creative and artistic forms of water that never failed to launch human thoughts and imagination to other dimensions of creativity.  One particular cloud formation, the lenticular clouds, has more profound effect on the human mind.  More often they are viewed in the extraterrestrial context.  They, more often, represent or are seen as the majestic but mythic flying saucer.

“Lenticular clouds (Altocumulus lenticularis) are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form in the troposphere, normally in perpendicular alignment to the wind direction.  Lenticular clouds can be classified into altocumulus standing lenticular (ACSL), stratocumulus standing lenticular (SCSL), and cirrocumulus standing lenticular (CCSL).  Because of their shape, they have been offered as explanation for some Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings.

As air flows along the surface of the Earth, it encounters obstructions.  These are man-made objects, such as buildings and bridges, and natural features, like hills, valleys, and mountains.  All of them disrupt the flow of air into eddies (meaning: a circular movement of water, air or smoke counter to a main current, causing a small whirlpool).  The strength of the eddies depends on the size of the object and the speed of the wind.  It results in turbulence classified as mechanical because it is formed through the mechanical disruption of the ambient wind flow.  Where stable moist air flows over mountain or a range of mountains, a series of large-scale standing waves may form on the downwind side.  If the temperature at the crest of the wave drops to the dew point, moisture in the air may condense to form lenticular clouds.”  (Wikipedia)

Again, a lot of people are using lenticular clouds as descriptive for UFOs.  What seems to be a very convenient explanation had eventually become a myth.  But myths are myths… defined as: a traditional or legendary story, narrative or unsubstantiated nor scientifically proven literature usually concerning some being, event or occurrence with or without a determinable basis of fact or  a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.

This is my puny effort in debunking the myth of lenticular clouds.

Just my little thoughts…

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