Clouds Streets Over the Norwegian Sea
On March 17, 2016, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, acquired this natural-color image of the cloud streets over the Norwegian Sea.
Cloud streets are long parallel bands of cumulus clouds that form when cold air blows over warmer waters and a warmer air layer (temperature inversion) rests over the top of both. In this case, cool air appears to be moving southward across Arctic sea ice toward northern Scandinavia.
The comparatively warm water gives up heat and moisture to the cold air above, and columns of heated air called thermals naturally rise through the atmosphere. The temperature inversion acts like a lid. When the rising thermals hit it, they roll over and loop back on themselves, creating parallel cylinders of rotating air. On the upper edge of these cylinders of rising air, clouds form. Along the downward side (descending air), skies are clear.
References and Related Reading
EarthSky (2016, January 18) What are cloud streets? Accessed March 25, 2016.
Fonte: Earth Observatory - NASA