A pair of awesome lenticular formations grace mighty Mount Shasta.
Early this past week there were a series of connected lenticular formations on and around Mount Shasta. It began Monday afternoon, peaked around the middle of Tuesday and was then over late Wednesday morning. The symmetry of the event extended beyond its timing too. What began as a disk hovering to the southwest of Mount Shasta grew until that disk was complimented by a large formation over the mountain’s summit on Tuesday. The disk then faded and by Wednesday only the cloud over the summit was left. The first half of the entire spectacle was brilliant, with beautiful colors and clean attractive lines on the clouds. This too peaked on Tuesday and the latter half of the event was not as clean as the former. Nonetheless, taken as a whole, it was one of the better lenticulars of the season. Indeed, late morning Tuesday may have lacked dramatic lighting but in terms of pure formation, it was the best lenticular so far this winter. Hopefully there will be more as precipitation moves back into the area!
Click to enlarge:
Early in the day on Monday, there were not many clouds in the sky. However, by early afternoon, a large disk began to hover to the southwest of Mount Shasta. At times, it had nice wings, but it still seemed to be taking shape as the sun began to set.
After the awesome sunset the night before, I decided to head out early Tuesday morning. The lenticular from the night before was still there, off to the southwest of Mount Shasta. Overnight it had lost much of its definition. This unfortunate turn of events was compounded by the rest of the clouds blocking out the light to the east as the sun came up.
What disappointment there was early was washed away by the late morning explosion of the lenticular. Not only was the disk from the night before growing into an excellent specimen but a new, awesome stack had grown over the summit of Mount Shasta.
Not long after, the summit stack began to grow at a rapid rate and began to cover much of the sky to the north. The cloud to the southwest was still present, but not growing like the one over the mountain.
By sunset, the cloud over the summit had overtaken the horizon to the north, meaning there would be no views of the mountain from the Shasta Valley. Nonetheless, the cloud over the summit continued to try to gather the strength to manifest one more burst of clouding building. Little disks kept forming over the billowing mass but then collapsing.
The clouds blocking the view from the north meant that there would be good perspective from which to capture the southwestern cloud in close proximity to Mount Shasta. Still, it was present, though it seemed to be losing strength and definition.
By the time the sun sank behind the Trinity Divide, the show was generally over. The clouds to the north were overtaking Mount Shasta itself, the summit cloud had given up its definition and the southwestern cloud, which was the first of this episode to manifest, was gone.
Wednesday morning, the sky was once again clear, except for a large formation that clung to Mount Shasta above the treeline. Lenticulars are always frustrating when the obscure the mountain but it was such an interesting collection I had to head out and capture it anyway.
Though Mount Shasta could not be seen , this particular events had a lot of drama, with the clouds roiling in layers, braiding around each other while they surged over the mountain, then dissipating as the moisture-laden air reached warmer areas. It was quite a show. However, by midday, the cloud was gone and this particular series of clouds were gone.
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