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March 2012

Cloud of the Month for March 2012

March 2012

Cloud of the Month for March 2012

Florida Fog

This month’s dramatic image of stratus cloud pouring over condominiums, was observed initially by helicopter pilot Mike Schaeffer. He was completing a sightseeing tour when he spotted this strange weather phenomenon along Panama City Beach, Florida. On landing, he told the helicopter company owner, J.R. Hott, about the cloud formation and they both went up for a better view. They moved quickly, knowing that this beautiful effect could only occur in very specific weather conditions.

The fog formation has since been described in the media as a “cloud tsunami” but J.R. disagrees with this name. “The term tsunami implies a natural disaster,” he explained, “but this cloud effect, though it can form quickly, moves in a gradual manner. It only occurs in the presence of a gentle breeze.”

Photograph © JR Hott.

  • Dr Sir Count Capt

    March 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    i am awesome

  • yeh

    March 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    no u r not

  • Dr Sir Count Capt

    March 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    i am

  • Gravitology

    March 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Ever wonder where clouds go? It’s so interesting to observe those H2O molecules, always on the go, being ‘called’ here and there, gravitating universally.

  • Judith Robinson avatar


    March 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Are the ground-level clouds (like umbrellas over the high-rise buildings) caused by airconditioning, by any chance?

  • Elsie Watkins avatar

    Elsie Watkins

    March 18, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Its a spectacular picture. I’ve not seen any as good as that yet? I will keep on looking skywards.

  • Elsie Watkins avatar

    Elsie Watkins

    March 18, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Its a spectacular picture. I have not seen any as good as that yet? i will will keep on looking sky wards.

  • Anonymous

    March 18, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I say yes to air-con influence and moist air from sea rising over condos = cloud? Pretty picture, ugly condos, great effect. Thnx Mr Shaeffer

  • María Marín avatar


    March 19, 2012 at 8:21 am

    ¡Maravillosa imagen!

  • Russ Gaulin

    March 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I would not think the air condition has an effect here, though I am strictly an amateur. AC causes heat outside of the buildings, which would make the fog dissipate and rise, but here it is climbing over the obstacles and then falling back down. Warmer water, cooler air and a gentle landward breeze looks like all the explanation needed. Great picture, thanks for yet another one.

  • anonymous

    March 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    This is a superb photo despite the ugly condos. I love it!
    If you want to see some scary dark fog rolling in overhead like a horrible gigantic city eating tsunami, try standing in South San Francisco in the Summer when the monster fog wave blows in like a hurricane over the hills from the ocean. It’s creepy scary. You want to RUN!!!!!

  • bhesper

    April 8, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Great! Something else from being in an old-fashioned ‘peasoup’.
    This is a brilliant fog! The fogs of fogs I’ve seen so far.

  • Michael

    June 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    During the day the ground inland warms up faster than the ocean, so there is an inland blowing breeze. The ocean will make the air humid, so the air going inland will cool down, causing the fog.

  • radiometeolibera tv

    March 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    bellissima immagine

  • alessandro barbolini

    March 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    ottima scelta..grandissimo sito

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