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Cloud Streets by NASA

Cloud Streets, 2016


This image looks like a monster wave about to crest, or an abstract composition that combines myriad feathery brushstrokes with mottled dark textures and a smooth solid section at the top. What it actually is is just as fascinating: a weather phenomenon known as “cloud streets.” These long parallel bands of cumulus clouds form when cold air blows over warmer water, so when the rising thermals hit it, they roll over and loop back on themselves and create parallel cylinders of rotating air. We’re seeing this phenomenon on the Eastern seaboard, looking from Chesapeake Bay to Nova Scotia after a snow storm.

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