A spectacular lenticular hovers over Mount Shasta and a wave-like cloud.
A quick glance at this post from a couple years ago shows that the majority of lenticular clouds on Mount Shasta occur between October and March. Without doubt, they can occur other times of the year but October through March, with their changing seasons and frequent storm systems, are the months where one is most likely to see major lenticular events. This proved to be the case once again, with December, January and February producing some particularly memorable events. Strangely enough, there were no significant formations in November, a month that historically produced some of the best lenticular clouds on Mount Shasta. Despite meteorological pyrotechnics getting off to a late start, it proved to be an exceptional season.
As summer approaches, the warm weather tends to stabilize the air currents around the mountain and cause the lenticulars to manifest less frequently. From a hiker’s perspective, the emphasis often shifts from looking up at the mountain from the lowlands to exploring its higher reaches. Hiking migrates to the lakes, ridges and peaks of the Trinity Divide. The focus of the season is different and even though the potential for lenticulars is still there, I don’t always head out in the early morning hunting them.
A few of the lenticular events from this past season were in the upper level of ones I have witnessed. Considering their relative frequency in December and January especially, this really was an exceptionally rich season. Even though I am excited for the summer hiking, I am already looking forward to the kinds of unique clouds Mount Shasta is going to produce when autumn arrives.
Click to enlarge: