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Dimensions1500 x 953
Original file size163 KB
Image typeJPEG
Thermals made visible, April 2012.

Thermals made visible, April 2012.

The wispy streamers under the clouds are thermals, which are normally invisible. These are rising columns of warm air, well known to glider pilots, which can give the glider, or sailplane, a ride up to several thousand feet. The unusual atmospheric conditions, perhaps combined with the exceptionally wet conditions on the ground from recent heavy "April showers", have rendered these columns of warm, moist air visible as they reach the altitude and temperature where the moisture in the air starts to condense out as water vapour.