Joseph Straccia: Cloud First – Kelvin Helmholtz wave cloud and Foehn wall cloud over the Front Range in a stably stratified atmosphere

Joseph Straccia: Cloud First – Kelvin Helmholtz wave cloud and Foehn wall cloud over the Front Range in a stably stratified atmosphere

By Joseph Straccia for Cloud First 2016

A Kelvin-Helmholtz instability forms in a stratocumulus lenticularis cloud above a foehn wall cloud on the leeward side of the Front Range during a westerly morning wind. The atmosphere was stably stratified at the time of this photo which was taken pointing west from Erie, Colorado on October 4th, 2016 at 8:42 AM MT.

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25 Comments. Leave new

  • Michael Lloyd
    October 30, 2016 2:47 pm

    I’ve never seen one of these, but that is so cool! The barn is rather distracting–was it included intentionally?

    Reply
  • Schuyler Vandersluis
    October 24, 2016 12:28 pm

    Great picture! I really like the physics you captured in this one, seems somewhat rare to find something like this

    Reply
  • Sierra Castillo
    October 17, 2016 1:06 pm

    What a cool phenomena! I like that the background was included. The clouds look almost fake, so it gives it a grounding in reality. The light is well managed.

    Reply
  • Marcus Gurule
    October 16, 2016 8:10 pm

    Absolutely stunning, great work! I am amazed that you were able to capture this phenomena. The technique used to capture this photo was spot on.

    Reply
  • Alexander Thompson
    October 12, 2016 6:30 pm

    Incredible image! This is a very crisp, resolved image of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. I really like the layering of the image too: the Foehn wall cloud covering the mountains and over the foothills in the far background, then the wave clouds in the middle, with the barn focusing some attention to the foreground. Great job realizing the conditions were about right for these to develop, then running to get your camera. Great work! This one is very special.

    Reply
  • Preston Marcoux
    October 12, 2016 2:02 pm

    I like how the structure in the picture, it works well as it draws some attention from the clouds, not in a negative way though. The waves are absolutely spectacular.

    Reply
  • Very interesting cloud phenomena is occurring in this image. I like the simplicity of the image. Great photo!

    Reply
  • 1. The artistic nature of the clouds is great.
    2. The flow is well shown.
    3. The photographic technique is very nice.

    Reply
  • Amazing flow. The image is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. The contrast of the clouds helps bring definition to the picture

    Reply
  • Awesome shot; very neat how you predicted these clouds would appear based on the conditions. The elements in the bottom of the frame aren’t distracting and add to the character of the image.

    Reply
  • Matthew Beckemeier
    October 12, 2016 12:24 pm

    Great photo. Very clear and sharp focus that really demonstrates this rare type of cloud. Great contrast between the field and clouds. I also like the cloud wall in the background creeping over the mountains.

    Reply
  • Stephanie Mora
    October 12, 2016 12:21 pm

    Such a cool phenomenon to capture! The cloud wall along the bottom is awesome too. The little building adds a nice happy little touch. Amazing picture.

    Reply
  • Great photo of wave clouds! They are clearly captured and the image is simply stunning

    Reply
  • Nice photo, really nice representation of the clouds. Good composition of the photograph.

    Reply
  • Peter Brunsgaard
    October 12, 2016 12:20 pm

    This is an amazing cloud formation to capture, and you framed it very well. I really like the choice to leave the barn in the photo. It really adds to the tone and feeling of the photo.

    Reply
  • Professional quality photo, colors are very vivid and the image is very sharp. Great capture of rare cloud phenomena!

    Reply
  • Zachary Cymanski
    October 12, 2016 12:20 pm

    One of my favorite images of clouds. What makes it really amazing is how “clean” the rest of the sky is, and the mass cloud wall coming over the mountains. I dont know why but I really like the barn’s touch to the overall image.

    Reply
  • good job capturing a unique cloud formation. I am think it captures the phenomenon very well.

    Reply
  • Art: I really like the rolling clouds and the Foehn.
    Flow: The flow is quickly understandable and easily recognized.
    Photographic technique: The focus of the Clouds is great, and the capturing of the clouds is great.

    Reply
  • Alexander Rosenberry
    October 12, 2016 12:20 pm

    Wow, this is quite the photo! You captured two pretty spectacular phenomenon in one shot there. Did you plan this location, or did you just get lucky? I like the barn in the foreground, it gives a nice sense of place to the photo, and gives us something else to look at. I do think you could have cropped in a little more, that would have removed the leading and trailing edges of the wave clouds, and also removed some of that empty field space between you and the barn, which could put more focus on the cloud phenomenon.

    Reply
  • Max Scrimgeour
    October 12, 2016 12:19 pm

    Excellent focus on this photo and a great depth of field. I really like the barn in the foreground and i feel like it adds to the photo with two focal points of the clouds and the barn. Nice work running home to get the camera and make sure the opportunity didn’t pass. Very cool to see as i am not sure i have ever seen one of these in person.

    Reply
  • WOW! I love the waves! I bet it was exciting to see. The contrast is great. I like the barn in the foreground

    Reply
  • Michael Waterhouse
    October 12, 2016 12:17 pm

    Very unique cloud formation. Nice detail and focus. The colors contrast well.

    Reply
  • Excellent photo of cloud waves, really interesting flow. Normally I would think this much in the foreground would be a bit distracting, but I think it works well in this image. Good contrast between the sky and the trees.

    Reply
  • – Great photo, very clear and focused.
    – A rare photo of a cloud so good find on that one! The colors contrast fairly well.
    – Only thing I would suggest is removing/cropping out some of the yellow land below to get rid of some of the negative space.

    Reply

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