The distinctive panorama of the Rock of Gibraltar is residence to spectacular natural world discovered nowhere else on the European continent, and can be residence to the uncommon Levantar Cloud that rises from the solitary rock’s steep summit.
Video from Met Office Gibraltar It exhibits the gorgeous Levantine clouds that look like forming out of skinny air.
In actuality, the cloud formation isn’t miraculous, however a by-product of the Levant’s winds and excessive landscapes.
Moist floor air is pushed upward by the steep rise of the terrain to a peak the place the temperature is under the dew level of the floor air. That’s, the air reaches saturation and the moisture in it condenses to kind clouds.
Some folks on the island are beginning to see animal shapes in uncommon clouds that solely kind when the Levant winds are blowing. Royal Meteorological Societywinds can blow at any time of the yr, however are most typical from June to October.
Levantar clouds are a particular subset of the extra common sort of cloud — topographic clouds, clouds fashioned by the Earth’s terrain. The terrain cloud style contains a number of varieties of clouds: banner clouds and lenticular clouds.
Levantar is finest categorized as a kind of banner cloud, clouds that kind from remoted sharp mountain tops when the wind is powerful. The Rock of Gibraltar is the proper place for these to kind, however such clouds are additionally discovered on peaks resembling Mount Everest within the Himalayas and Matterhorn within the Alps.
Lenticular clouds are one of many strangest issues in nature. Formed like a lens, or flying saucer, these uncommon clouds are generally seen close to or on prime of mountains, wherein case they’re often known as “cap” clouds.
Lenticular clouds kind when moist air is pressured up a mountaintop and cooled to some extent of saturation, the place it condenses right into a cloud. Not like flag clouds within the sky, lenticular clouds tackle a particular form when the moist air sinks after climbing a mountain and dries, forsaking a small dish-shaped cloud.
Terrain rifts can even create distinctive climates in and round mountains. On the windward aspect of huge mountains, the rising moist air can condense into dense clouds, inflicting heavy rain and snowfall, protecting the windward aspect lush and inexperienced. Nonetheless, the remaining air heading over the mountain to the leeward aspect doesn’t comprise a lot moisture, leaving the leeward aspect of the mountain excessive and really dry.
Dry climates are inclined to kind on the leeward aspect of mountains which are identified for being dry locations, resembling California’s Dying Valley and Chile’s Atacama Desert.
Matthew Cappucci contributed to this report.