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Kelvin-Helmholtz Wave Clouds Over B’ham

| 1:45 pm December 16, 2011

These images were sent in by a number of our readers/viewers at midday… the first shot below is from the Alabama Air National Guard facility at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport…

This one is from I-65…

Below is the view from one of the taller buildings in downtown Birmingham…

Another one from downtown…

Another image from an office in downtown Birmingham…

This video is from that same office building…

The video below is from the Red Mountain Expressway…

From the Cloud Appreciation Society… The breaking waveforms of Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are the result of shearing winds up at cloud level. A particular type of turbulence can develop in a layer of cirrus cloud, which happens to form below an inversion between air currents of differing speeds and/or directions. Sea waves break as their bases are slowed down upon reaching shallow water and their crests surge ahead. Cloud waves break in the same way: when their crests are pushed ahead of their troughs by the difference in air currents.

If you want to peg the geek meter, see the wikipedia article here.

Just another reminder the weather around here is rarely “boring”….



Category: Alabama's Weather

James Spann

About James Spann: James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations. View author profile.

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  1. […] mean, take a look at these clouds.  Looks like a rolling tide to […]

  2. […] Fuente: […]

  3. […] The Alabama Weather blog recense pour sa part les plus belles photos du phénomène. […]

  4. […] you know! Plenty more pictures of this event (including the one used above) available here. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  5. […] Kelvin-Helmoltz wave clouds J'aimeJ'aime  […]

  6. […] a formar por debajo, una inversión entre corrientes de aire a velocidades diferentes o direcciones.Click para ver más imágenes y videos sobre esto VN:F [1.9.13_1145]Vota este postEspere un momento…Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)Entradas del […]

  7. […] dramatic waves soon flooded the media, newspapers and Internet. They became known as the ‘Alabama tsunami […]

  8. […] strange, tsunami wave shaped clouds were seen across the sky last Friday in Birmingham, Alabama. The unusual phenomenon is an example of Kelvin-Helmholtz waves, when a fast layer moves […]

  9. girls says:


    Kelvin-Helmholtz Wave Clouds Over B?ham : The Alabama Weather Blog