Amazing altocumulus lenticularis display over the Croatian coast – Jan 1, 2015

The Croatian coast, still under the influence of strong Bura winds, produced one of the most exceptional Altocumulus lenticularis displays in memory. Many locations along the coast were treated to amazingly structured lenticularis clouds, which were later illuminated in fiery sunset colors.

Lee waves, responsible for the formation of Altocumulus lenticulars clouds form under fast winds on the lee side of the terrain feature which induces the waves. In this case the terrain feature was the Dinaric mountain belt just inland of the Croatian Adriatic coast. At the crest of each wave, adiabatic expansion cooling forms lenticular clouds. Stacked cloud form when moist and dry air layers alternate vertically.

The coast of the Adriatic sea is no stranger to this phenomenon, as Bura winds often produce lee waves which, depending on conditions, may be in the form of Altocumulus lenticularis or a foehn wall cloud. Winter is the prime time for these phenomena on the Adriatic coast, although they may be observed throughout the year.

NASA AQUA MODIS view of the Croatian coast this afternoon with the lee waves / altocumulus lenticularis clouds well visible.

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over the Croatian coast this evening as seen from Krk Island! Photo: Miro Svetac / Crometeo.

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Zadar, Croatia. Photo: Roberto Lerga Photography / Crometeo

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over the Croatian coast this afternoon as seen from Krk Island. Photo: Miro Svetac / Crometeo.

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Novi Vinodolski, Croatia. Photo: Goran Gajić Photography / Crometeo

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Split, Croatia. Photo: Ivan Rajčić / Crometeo

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Senj, Croatia. Photo: Nino Salkić / Crometeo

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds as seen from Rijeka, Croatia. Photo: Damir Kvajo / Crometeo

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Novi Vinodolski, Croatia. Photo: Luka Papić Photography / Crometeo

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Velebit, Croatia. Photo: Josip Barić / Crometeo

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Mosor, Croatia. Photo: Karlo Repac / Crometeo

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Zadar, Croatia. Photo: Roberto Lerga Photography / Crometeo

Altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Nin, Croatia. Photo: Boris Kačan Photography / Crometeo

Find more photos from the Croatian Adriatic coast on our partner’s Crometeo page.