Cloud vortices are produced “when air moving over the smooth ocean surface is forced over some obstacle, like an island. The disturbance creates eddies in the air, which have blown the clouds into the pattern seen here. At the center of each eddy is a dark, cloud-free circle, which gets progressively smaller as the turbulence in the air subsides.”
These phenomena are also known as Von Karman vortices. “Von Karman vortices form nearly everywhere that fluid flow is disturbed by an object.”
The images show a cloud vortex swirling behind Jan Mayen Island in the Greenland Sea, another one near Heard Island, in the Indian Ocean and two formed by the winds rushing over the Cape Verde Islands.
A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile, 870 km south of Santiago, on June 5, 2011. Puyehue volcano erupted for the first time in half a century on June 4, 2011, prompting evacuations as it sent up a cloud of ash that circled the globe.
This is a year-long time-lapse study of the sky. A camera installed on the roof of the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco captured an image of the sky every 10 seconds. From these images, I created a mosaic of time-lapse movies, each showing a single day. The days are arranged in chronological order. My intent was to reveal the patterns of light and weather over the course of a year.
This video is designed to be viewed in a large format, so it’s best viewed in full-screen mode at 1080p.
More information on the project site:
Lightning and tornado - from http://scienceavenger.blogspot.com/2009/04/lightning-tornado-photo.html