Rainier weather in December proves astonishing

Check out these incredible photos taken yesterday over Mount Rainier, the 14,411′ (4,392m) pater familias of the Cascades in Washington State.

Photo by Tim Thompson, KATU.com

Photo by David Embrey, KATU.com

For an explanation of the phenomena underlying the formation of these lenticular clouds, visit the KATU.com weather blog. And for the sweet sake of thundering Thor, do NOT allow your UFO-conspiracy friends to lay eyes on these.

  1. #1 by rBST on December 10, 2008 - 5:42 pm

    Oh, that’s lovely.

  2. #2 by rBST on December 11, 2008 - 11:50 am

    So I was staring up at the ceiling in the dark last night and I got to thinking about the overall shape of these formations. I’ve seen them before, but in a much different exhibit: The desert. Certain rock formations, whether by the means of wind, water or sandblast, look very much like the above images. Which got me to thinking about similarly shaped objects that can be found at the bristly end of nature’s paintbrush. Specifically, stromatolites. Oh, sure, they not nearly as romantic looking, but still, there’s that overall shape again. Mushrooms, too. And Smurfs. Smurfs kinda look like that if you squint. Even trees: A slender base rising up to showcase a “bloom.”
    Really, it’s curious how the roots of geometrical shapes are in nature. The circle, oval, cube, hexagon, etc. Has anyone ever catalogued or sorted what shapes exist in the natural world? You know, for example: 3,452,1872,092 circles; 456,732,0982,092 cubes; 345,213,409 donuts (wait, is donut a scientific name? help me out here).
    Then I got to wondering how many shapes exist in the man-made world. If we could catalogue that number (that’s a big IF), how closely would those numbers match up to the engineering and imagination of the natural world?
    And then I fell asleep while staring at Pandora’s Box…

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