The 28th of August saw some outstanding lenticular displays on Mount Shasta. The day prior had started with some nice disks northeast of the mountain but by the afternoon they had faded and that was the end of any unusual activity it seemed. The next morning it was evident that the clouds were back. I was unable to get away until mid-day when the light was terrible but the clouds were forming in magnificent fashion. Mount Shasta was graced not only with a fantastic pancake stack formation, but also an awesome lens shaped clouds hovering right over the mountain. Typically these formations occur individually but not together in such excellent style. Despite the bad light, documenting the clouds was irresistible and I proceeded to take a few pictures, just to know that this awesome event had been memorialized.
The forecast called for rain moving in so I anticipated the skies becoming increasingly overcast. This seemed to be what was happening but by the late afternoon it was obvious that there was still good light on the mountain and that the cloudy tumult over the mountain was persisting. My son and I headed out for higher ground to try to capture the spectacle. When we got to our perch, there was a great lenticular hovering right over the mountain. It was not quite as interesting as the stack and lens formation earlier in the day but still a pretty incredible sight. It was especially neat seeing the cloud and mountain with Mount Shasta City visible far below.
Though the obvious center of attention was the large cloud above Mount Shasta, there were other clouds taking shape in the skies around the mountain. These weren’t all close by but it was obvious that something big was brewing around the mountain. It was amazing how quickly things were changing as well. The main cloud was constantly morphing and the other clouds seemed on the verge of taking on more definitive shapes.
As the afternoon progressed, the main cloud started to separate into more distinct layers, getting taller and larger as it did so.The was getting lower and the light on Mount Shasta was bright and distinct, even as the Strawberry Valley below it was cast in shadow.
Finally, while the main lenticular grew, the clouds further to the northeast took on more definite shapes, assuming a pancake stack formation of its own. The setting sun hit the cloudy towers and light them up, creating a staggering, epic production in the heavens. It was certainly one of the most memorable shows over Mount Shasta that I have seen. I was blessed to have been able to witness it, and from such a lofty place with my young son.