Alabama Cloud Waves

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This has to be the coolest thing to come out of Alabama since Forest Gump. Yesterday, photos of these wave shaped clouds made their rounds on the internet. When I first saw them I immediately thought it was someone screwing around in Photoshop. After some video popped up (below) and a few google searches, I found myself reading about Kelvin-Helmholtz instability which is the cause of the amazingly cool looking clouds.

According to LiveScience, what people saw in the sky is similar to what happens with waves in the ocean.

“Whether seen in the sky or in the ocean, this type of turbulence always forms when a fast-moving layer of fluid slides on top of a slower, thicker layer, dragging its surface. Water waves, for example, form when the layer of fluid above them (i.e., the air) is moving faster than the layer of fluid below (i.e., the water). When the difference between the wind and water speed increases to a certain point, the waves “break” — their crests lurch forward — and they take on the telltale Kelvin-Helmholtz shape.”

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