Left Coast Pilot: Mountains, Waves, Headwinds and Flat Tires and Mexico 06-05Written by John Ruley
Take a good look at the clouds in the picture on the facing page. Notice the sharp edges, and how they look stacked up, almost like pancakes? Trust me, you don’t want to see them any closer than this.
Those are standing-wave lenticulars, and we saw them a few weeks ago, just north of Mojave Calif. There were even bigger stacks to the south.
Lenticular clouds are one sign of severe turbulence. They develop downstream of mountain ridgelines when there’s a strong wind and enough moisture to form a cloud. It’s probably just as well there was enough moisture because it showed us some of the places to avoid.