Mt. St. Helens at Sunrise

I got this picture in my email, sent by Edna who's wondering if it's real. It looks real to me. The picture is accompanied by the following text, which also sounds accurate to me (as a non-meteorologist):

MT. St. Helens, which sits about 30 miles from Vancouver, as the crow flies, continues to spew ash, while it is forming a lava dome in the crater and still having minor tremors. In this sunrise shot, she appears to be blowing smoke rings (and anything so benign is welcomed, given recent history.) What forms the "smoke rings" is the air flowing over the mountain getting pushed up higher as it goes up and over the top. The moisture content and initial temperature are just right so that the moisture condenses from a vapor to small particles at the higher altitude. When the moving air moves past the peak and comes down again, the particles evaporate back to an invisible vapor. The two "pancakes" describe that there are two layers of air for which this is happening, thus making this awesome picture possible.
And here's another photo of a 'pancake cloud' (also sent by Edna). I don't know where this one was taken.

Photos Places Science

Posted on Tue Apr 12, 2005


im hoping to see it originally...
havent seen a thing such as that...
Posted by Onzy  in  mm  on  Sun Jun 19, 2005  at  03:04 AM
There is an excellent discussion of this type of mountain induced orograhic lenticularis formation beginning on page 477 of The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Weather.
Posted by Rijo  on  Mon Jul 04, 2005  at  08:28 AM
I had my suspicions also that it might be Mt. Rainer from a southern or eastern side. I have not seen a view of Mt. St. Helens from the south (non-dome building side); so it may just be correct. I remember seeing similar clouds above Mt. Rainer as I grew up on the Seattle side of the mountain.
Posted by Ron  in  Phoenix, AZ  on  Mon Sep 25, 2006  at  11:51 AM
I wish someone would change the heading. Neither photo is of Mt. St. Helen.

Probably Mt. Rainier on the sunrise/sunset photo. If not, then it is Mt. Adams which is nearby and has similar profile, although I'm not sure the lenticular clouds are as common on Adams. They are common on Mt. Rainier.

I'm assuming the other is Fuji.
Posted by Linda  in  Gig Harbor  on  Wed Jul 18, 2007  at  10:37 PM
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