Alpenglow on Mount Shasta beneath a massive lenticular wave.
I have noted on a few occasions that the current lenticular season has been somewhat lackluster. Though there have been a few events scattered throughout the past several months there haven’t been any really massive formations, the kind the tend to punctuate the season and really make you stop and marvel when they do occur. That all changed this past week. In the first 5 days of March, beginning Monday, there were 3 excellent clouds. Though their quality did lessen as the week progressed, they all still far outperformed what had preceded them.
As if that weren’t enough, the storm they had all been prelude to swept through and dropped 4-5 inches of snow at my house. While we were all hoping for more, that is still a welcome burst of snow. The skies are clearing even now and whoever heads up to the ski park is in for a gorgeous bluebird day!
The first lenticular of the week was by far the most impressive. Large, stable and stretching across the sky, it was one the most massive cloud events over Mount Shasta I have seen. It’s beginning didn’t quite augur its true proportions but those were revealed rather swiftly and maintained an immense presence throughout the day. It ended up coalescing into a staggering wave, similar to those that form over the Sierra Nevada. At sunset, the cloud didn’t quite light up as I had hoped but Mount Shasta managed to catch the alpenglow and it was an utterly spectacular scene.
A few days later Mount Shasta again generated another interesting formation. This time it was a large stack to the northeast of the summit. At dawn it highlighted a really fiery sky, though the upper half of the stack was left totally in the dark. Like the wave from Monday, it stuck around all day. However, by sunset, though still extant over Mount Shasta, it was thin and wispy, hardly noticeable or catching light. However, the cloud clinging to the summit of Mount Shasta added some interest and it was still a beautiful end to the day.
The final lenticular of the week was also a fine one but was positioned further away from Mount Shasta, making it a bit frustrating to photograph. Nonetheless, like its predecessors, it was stable enough to stick around all day, though it was most interesting first thing in the morning. By noon it had flattened out but managed tighten up again for sunset. Unfortunately it never really got any vivid light. In spite of this, it was another spectacular formation to end the week!
And now we have some fresh snow, just in time to do a little camping on Mount Shasta!