The Upside Down Under
Surfing the Morning Glory Cloud


Australia is known for it's amazing ocean wave surfers, but what about our sky surfers taking on the Morning Glory clouds.

The Morning Glory cloud is a rare meteorological phenomenon consisting of a low-level atmospheric solitary wave and associated cloud, occasionally observed in different locations around the world. The wave often occurs as an amplitude-ordered series of waves forming bands of roll clouds.

Surfing the Morning Glory Cloud
This photograph was taken in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Australia. It  illustrates the unparalleled beaut of the Morning Glory Cloud, a phenomenon that occurs between September and November each year.

The Morning Glory is a roll cloud, or arcus cloud, that can be up to 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long, 1 to 2 kilometres (0.62 to 1.24 mi) high, and often only 100 to 200 metres (330 to 660 ft) above the ground. The cloud often travels at the rate of 10 to 20 metres per second. Sometimes there is only one cloud, sometimes there are up to ten consecutive roll clouds.

A wave of multiple Morning Glory clouds
A wave of multiple Morning Glory clouds. Image source: NASA Astronomy picture of the day 24 August, 2009 of a Morning Glory roll-cloud over northern Australia.

The Morning Glory is often accompanied by sudden wind squalls, intense low-level wind shear, a rapid increase in the vertical displacement of air parcels, and a sharp pressure jump at the surface. In the front of the cloud, there is strong vertical motion that transports air up through the cloud and creates the rolling appearance, while the air in the middle and rear of the cloud becomes turbulent and sinks.

Credit for music goes to Blizzard Entertainment (Song name : Temple of the Moon)





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