Lenticular clouds appear over Anza

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A lenticular cloud forms over Thomas Mountain. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo
Unusual, oddly shaped clouds have been sighted recently over the mountains surrounding the Anza Valley. Beautiful and yet eerie, these strange formations are called lenticular clouds. According to the U.S. National Weather Service in San Diego, lenticular clouds are common during days when strong winds are oriented roughly perpendicular to a mountain range. When conditions are just right, the airflow bows upward above the mountain crests, cooling and condensing to form clouds, usually just a bit downwind of the highest ridge. This development is often referred to as a “mountain wave,” and the near-perfect oscillation of the airflow carves out these smooth cloud formations. Lenticular clouds owe their unusual name to the Latin word “lenticularis,” meaning lentil-shaped. [ga
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