Back on Dec. 16, photos and stories about some unusual clouds in Alabama made headlines and most-viewed lists. They were dubbed tsunami clouds, probably for their resemblance to the famous “Great Wave off Kanagawa,” a 19th century work by Japanese artist Hokusai.
The photos also brought into play discussions of fluid dynamics. In this case, something called the Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability. Danish geology/ etymology/ oceanography/ (fill-in-your-favorite-ology here) blogger Ole Nielsen explains it so well.
Here on the mountain, we had some unusual clouds the morning of Sept. 19, 2011. Nothing as spectacular as the tide that rolled over Birmingham, but nonetheless striking.
Unfortunately, being a work day, we could not spend a great amount of time watching how they evolved — whether they crested and broke or were simply being worn down into warped lenticular shapes.