Friday, December 7, 2012

Enjoying Our Lenticular Cloud!

It's been a mild, dry - at times veritably balmy - late fall for us (although snow beckons as I write). 
With this weather pattern often comes our Front Range friend, the lenticular cloud, produced when (warming) downsloping winds off the mountains creates a cloud pocket.
On the Drake Doubleback 200k Perm a couple weeks ago, the Flatirons are bathed briefly in dawn light before the sun rises into the cloud layer.

The shadow and sky highlight Dodd Reservoir, which despite its small size attracts hundreds of geese at a time in the fall.  Most are canada geese, but probably some cackling geese, from the arctic.

The forecast gusty winds were there, but very piecemeal - for example, tumbleweed strength on the way to Big Thompson Canyon, but mild in the canyon itself.  Also, you could traverse a 10-15 degree temperature gradient in a couple miles.
Ted and Emily Warm, and Lynn Stein, reported the same phenomenon on the Rabbit Mountain Romp they were doing at the same time.
But all turned out well.  A scenic sunset at ride's end ...

... and a post-sunset golden chaos of whorls.

Not a bad time of year to get out for a nice ride.  I hope you've had a chance to enjoy it!

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