Imagine you are a warm H2O molecule riding a south wind and headin' north. You hit the bright face of Denali and ramp upward high into the atmosphere and it gets colder so you condense into a cloud, but not just any cloud. You are an altocumulus standing lenticular (ACSL) and now it appears you are hovering in the sheer winds, making cool, lens-shaped cloud formations above the tallest mountain on the North American continent. Mooseâ€™s Tooth is below and to the right. Have fun up there!
Denali (Mt. McKinley), the tallest mountain on the North American continent at 20,320â€™, creates its own cloud systems. Wind blowing from the south (left-to-right on this photo) forces moist air up the face of the mountain, cooling and forming wild clouds as it gains altitude. On this particular gorgeous mid-August day, my wife & I were camping at Byers Lake (MP 147, Parks Hwy) when these mesmerizing lenticular clouds took shape. They hovered and swayed in the sheer winds like a ghostly kite, best portrayed in black and white.