Sunday, March 1, 2015

1534 Stratocumulus Swirls

Clouds are shaped by swirls. The mean wind just move the clouds from Point A to Point B across the landscape. It s the differential winds that do the sculpturing of the cloud droplets. Lawrence Nickle always referred to the Group of Seven as painting "boulders in the sky". The outer edges of some clouds look as hard as lots of rocks that I have painted. This bold "boulder" approach applies to convective clouds for sure. If the winds from a violent convective storm should hit you, it would feel like a boulder. Lawrence's soft wispy cloud treatment was perfect for ice crystals and stratiform clouds like cirrus. So just maybe, everyone is right but remember that it is perhaps best to learn more about the clouds in your scene. Not two clouds are identical and cumulus clouds do not look like fluffy sheep heaped in the sky.
These are turbulent stratocumulus clouds shaped in a strong northwesterly wind over the west basin of Red Horse Lake. There are countless swirls in the sky and I will analyse a few of these for you. There is always a deformation zone associated with a swirl. These lines reveal the location of other swirls even though they might be exceedingly subtle. Swirls can be oriented along vertical or horizontal tubes and every angle in between. No matter how complicated and chaotic the clouds might appear, their shapes can be easily understood by understanding the swirls.

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