As summer ends, we can look forward to the gorgeous fall hiking season here in Mount Shasta. While the we may lament the approaching winter and the passing of this year’s gorgeous summer (despite the smoke), there is another thing we can look forward with a great deal of anticipation. Fall marks the beginning of the time of year when lenticular clouds occur with a notably higher degree of frequency on Mount Shasta. This means that, while we may not be able to hike the trails in the Trinity Divide, high up on Mount Shasta, or in the surrounding mountain ranges like the Trinity Alps, we do have the opportunity to enjoy the grand spectacle of these magnificent cloud formations heightening the mountain’s unique grandeur. Indeed, uniqueness and beauty of these strange clouds makes this one of the highlights of the year.
As is often noted, the mountain creates its own weather and it can do so at any time of the year. Naturally this means lenticular clouds can occur throughout the year as well. However, fall and winter have a demonstrably higher frequency of the clouds’ manifestation. To show this, I collated all the images I have from the last 10 years and broke them out into the months when they occurred. Some of the clouds are exactly lenticular clouds, but they are unusual in shape and exhibit at least some of the qualities of the famed formations. Obviously this is not exactly scientific documentation since I have missed some of the clouds. Nonetheless, generally speaking, if there is a lenticular I try to capture it in some fashion. Taking the fact that I have missed some of the clouds, this display still demonstrates what months have greater likelihood of lenticular clouds appearing around Mount Shasta. Hopefully the upcoming lenticular season produces some exceptional specimens!