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April 2012

Cloud of the Month for April 2012

April 2012

Cloud of the Month for April 2012

Iridescence over Independence

This month’s cloud formation is a display of cloud iridescence. This colourful optical effect is caused by sunlight being diffracted as it passes around the cloud particles, and is seen mostly often when a cloud is forming or dissipating, which means its water droplets are all of a similar size. The beautiful and eery example shown here is in an Altocumulus cloud spotted by Andrew Kirk over Independence, California, US.

© Photograph Andrew Kirk.

  • bhesper

    April 8, 2012 at 4:56 am

    Imagine standing on that roof! Looking at this sunset.
    ( Was it a sunset? )
    Hey, are there three faces to be discerned in this great picture?
    Shall we try and give this pic some fancy name?
    How about this for an opening scene as the curtains rise for act one of some classical play (which?)in a theatre somewhere? Three faces that don’t … etc.
    I really love this example of iridescence.
    It’s beautiful.

  • Jill D Mabbott avatar

    . Granny Weatherwitch, ex- U.K. Met. Office

    April 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    There were about 6 comments when I added mine yesterday, and now there is only one. Have I been edited out, together with the other comments? If so. I’d like to know why please :-) GWW

  • Michelle Keatinge

    April 10, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Wow! I’m speechless!

  • IanL Photo Gall Ed.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Hi GWW your comment is with the photo on the gallery page, is that where you intended it to be…

  • Bert Hoebée avatar


    April 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Very nice..! Altough being a Cirrus fan (name of my sailboat) I sure can appreciate an Altocumulus like this one…

  • Camilla Rogge

    April 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Fantastic blog. Awesome.

  • Ryan Verwest

    April 18, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Beautiful Image! Perfect exposure and backlighting!

  • Anonymous

    September 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Is this not just moist warm air emitted from the building?

  • Edward Nadalin avatar

    Edward Nadalin

    February 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Eerie Iridescence !

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