A nice lenticular forms with a pronounced disk over Shastina .
The changing weather patterns that begin on Tuesday have already brought the first lenticular. While yesterday morning was the first intensely colorful sunrise, so did Wednesday bring the first real lenticular of the fall season. After many weeks of cloudless conditions, autumn is finally taking hold of the sky and bringing clouds, winds and interesting phenomena above Mount Shasta.
Today started off rather overcast but by the afternoon the clouds had coalesced around the mountain and the classic disk of a lenticular was evident. It had a particularly distinct shape over Shastina, while vague stacks formed over the rest of Mount Shasta. It was not an epic lenticular event but it was beautiful and interesting nonetheless and demanded some attention. I popped out to one of my closest spots from which to photograph Mount Shasta and set my camera up. I captured the disk in strong form before the lenticular’s lines began to blur and the cloud grew over the area. Soon there were interesting mottled shadows all over the mountain’s lower flanks. As is often the case, it was fascinating to watch the evolution of the weather above the great volcano.
Later in the evening I had to run some paperwork into town. I just happened to time it so that the sun was setting when I was headed in. It proved to be a frustrating exercise. Clouds above Mount Eddy in the west filtered out much of the light on Mount Shasta, leaving everything rather drab. Even more frustrating, the lenticular had evolved into a stack sitting right on the summit of the mountain but didn’t really stand out like it had earlier in the day. Fortunately, as the sun dropped behind Mount Eddy the light was able to pass underneath the cloud cover and finally lit up Mount Shasta. For a few fleeting moments it was bathed in crimson glory before fading out altogether for the night. This left the clouds above Mount Eddy, now dissipating rapidly themselves, as islands of color in the sky. This too was quite beautiful.
In the end, this was a fine lenticular, but hopefully it is just heralding greater and more complex events in the near future!
A progression of todays clouds. Click to enlarge: