Mt. Erebus Antarctic expedition 2007 - Image 49 of 58

Erebus07_500.jpg


Lenticular clouds like this one form before heavy storms, because rising winds push moist air up the slopes of the mountain where it cools down and forms ice crystals. The resulting turbulences in the air sometimes cause several of these lentil shaped clouds to form on the leeward side of a mountain, like pearls on a string. But the phenomenon typically doesn’t last long - the brunt of the storm often arrives only a few hours later. Such clouds are sometimes the only signs of warning for scientists working on the crater rim, telling them to better head back to the camp for refuge. The storms sometimes confine the scientists to their tents or to the work hut for several days to come.