Click on the thumbnails to watch a small cloud movie. I sacrificed the high quality jpg-animations for DivX-movies because they offer much better compression while in most cases maintaining fair image quality. You'll need the DivX codec to play the files; you can download it for free here. The movies are 300x200 pixels where nothing else is mentioned (the thumbnails are 200x133). Drop me an email if you'd like to see larger versions.

 

 

November 17 2004: We've sure seen a lot of clouds this fall, more than I like. They've shed a bit of snow now and then, and here it clears (somewhat) after a new dusting. Since there's no wind, every branch is covered with snow which does look nice. The clouds display lots of wave activity. 15 sec. between frames, 1055 frames (~4 hours 30 min.), 1117KB.

 

September 24 2004: Fall colors were still out, and since it was clear before sunrise I hoped to catch them this time. It proved to be the last chance; the very next day most leaves were on the ground! Low clouds rolled in and mostly spoiled it, but the sun peaks through some holes towards the end and gives you a glimpse. It also shines at Ester Dome for a while, revealing that there's already snow on the ground up there. 15 sec. between frames, 960 frames, (4 hours), 1053KB.

 

 

September 24 2004: In the afternoon light snow showers started rolling in, and here you can see why there's snow on Ester Dome (but not here). Whereas only one shower makes it here to campus, you'll see something like 10 showers sweeping across Ester Dome. I don't quite understand how that works, but see for yourself.  10 sec. between frames, 1543 frames (~4 hours 15 min.), 1658KB.

 

 

September 14 2004: Low clouds forming and drifting over the valley. Fall colors are out and would have looked nice with some sunshine, but not this morning. 15 sec. between frames, 1080 frames (4 hours 30 min.), 1039KB.

 

 

July 21 2004: This summer was poor for doing cloud movies here in Alaska where we had a record fire season. Over 6.7 million acres went up in flames, and Fairbanks was shrouded in smoke for weeks. In this movie the wind was favorable for visibility in Fairbanks, and we could see the smoke plume from one of the smaller fires southwest of town. 10 sec. between frames, 1080 frames (3 hours), 1055KB.

 

July 4 2004: Dense morning fog looks uniformly grey and boring when you're standing in the middle of it. It's more fun to watch after speeding things up a little. 20 sec. between frames, 720 frames (3 hours), 792KB.

 

 

June 18 2004: Lee wave activity. A strong flow from the south is forced over the Alaska Range, giving lots of lee wave activity. The time lapse is from 8 pm in the evening till 2 am - that's as dark as it gets up here this time of year. 20 sec. between frames, 1080 frames (6 hours), 1158KB.

 

 

June 18 2004: A crop of the above movie, showing some detail in the flow. I especially noticed how clearly you can see the air flowing 'downhill' from the wavecrests due to the perspective. 20 sec. between frames, 300 frames (1 hour 40 min.), 316KB.

 

June 17 2004: The hills around Fairbanks do produce lee waves and lenticular clouds, but I doubt they are able to create these impressive, 'pancake stacks'. The source of this is the Alaska Range some 50-100 miles to the south. It appeared that even more impressive clouds stacked up closer to the mountains before I got the camera out, and boy would I like to see what can show up just downwind of Denali. Indeed, it appears as if it might be responsible for this lee wave: The string of clouds points directly towards Denali (which is unfortunately not visible). I decided to experiment, panning and zooming during the time lapse. The result is far from smooth, but I am happy that I zoomed in on the good stuff anyway. 15 sec. between frames, 714 frames, (3 hours), 765KB.

June 15 2004: Cumulus buildup for a shower. Looks as if vertical wind shear prevents formation of a larger shower. As the cumulus grows, the upper part drifts away from the rest of the convection cell, hence losing the source for its updrift. 15 sec. between frames, 205 frames (51 min.), 227KB.

 

June 14 2004: An Alaskan midsummer night, starting with the dissolving remnants of the afternoon thundershowers. It's one continuous sunset/sunrise. 30 sec. between frames, 887 frames (7 hours 24 min.), 978KB.

 

June 11 2004: Afternoon shower activity. 20 sec. between frames, 720 frames (4 hours), 760KB.

 

June 3 2004: Altocumulus clouds. Another display I have been wanting to see is this classic 'desktop shot' with small fluffy clouds spread uniformly throughout the frame. Here it was, but that reflection from the window makes sure none of the frames make a desktop shot. 20 sec. between frames, 360 frames (2 hours), 370KB.

 

May 19 2004: Morning fog moving around the valley and making its way up the hills too. 15 sec. between frames, 480 frames (2 hours), 497KB.

 

May 15 2004: All the previous movies have been shot afternoon/evening which has a big disadvantage: I'm shooting towards the sun. Here's finally a sunrise instead, but apart from the nice colors, the clouds are just not that interesting at this time. 30 sec. between frames, 360 frames (3 hours), 376KB.

 

May 13 2004: Further down you'll find a nice lee wave display (March 23 2004). This one is not bad either and has a flow direction that offers a much better view of the wave structure. Also notice how the hills (especially Ester Dome) trigger formation of lower clouds in certain spots where they start taking the smooth, lenticular appearance.  15 sec. between frames, 720 frames (3 hours), 757KB.

 

May 5 2004: The same scenario as below and the sunset following. 30 sec. between frames, 398 frames (3 hours 19 min.), 417KB.

 

 

May 5 2004: High clouds create nice halo effects around the sun while a lee wave deposits a nice lenticular cloud right under it. 15 sec. between frames, 308 frames (1 hour 17 min.), 304KB.

 

 

April 30 2004: Yet another Alaskan sunset. It was preceded by some nice sundogs, so I left the camera shooting after I took off. 15 sec. between frames, 720 frames (3 hours), 767KB.

 

April 29 2004: A nice mix of clouds with superposed waves visible in the upper layer. Notice how some features propagate significantly faster than the flow itself, especially towards the end. 15 sec. between frames, 480 frames (2 hours), 513KB.

 

 

April 11 2004: Another Alaskan sunset. 20 sec. between frames, 351 frames (1 hour 57 min.), 334KB.

 

 

April 11 2004: Orographically forced clouds over Chena Ridge. 12 sec. between frames, 150 frames (30 min.), 131KB.

 

 

April 8 2004: Common Alaskan sunset with Venus appearing as it gets darker. 15 sec. between frames, 600 frames (2 hours 30 min.), 652KB.

 

 

April 7 2004: Some more obvious orographic forcing over the distant mountains and with some Fairbanks traffic in the foreground. 15 sec. between frames, 139 frames (~35 min.), 161KB.

 

 

April 7 2004: Similar to the scenario below, but with a more regular lee-wave in the distance (lower right corner). 15 sec. between frames, 300 frames (1 hour 15 min.), 293KB.

 

April 6 2004: Typical scenario before sunset. High clouds of various thickness and orographically forced sporadically evolving clouds at lower altitudes. 15 sec. between frames, 288 frames (1 hour 12 min.), 253KB.

 

April 2 2004: 3rd attempt. You can see that the series of clouds is there, but hardly make out much more at this low resolution. 10 sec. between frames, 240 frames (40 min.), 230KB.

 

April 2 2004: A second attempt. The glare of the sun is making it hard, so I change field of view along the way. 10 sec. between frames, 163 frames (~27 min.), 142KB.

 

 

April 2 2004: I was trying to catch a curious series of similar clouds on a row downstream from Ester Dome. Here they're racing through the field of view in part of the movie. 20 sec. between frames, 180 frames (1 hour), 150KB.

 

March 29 2004: The waves propagating at an angle to the flow are clearly visible. Daylight fades and is replaced by artificial orange lights. Venus makes a short appearance. 20 sec. between frames, 126 frames (42 min.), 127KB.

 

March 29 2004: Longer sequence during which low clouds form, rise a bit and get partly caught by the opposing winds above. They dissolve and leave the scene to cirrus clouds, revealing superposed waves along a high altitude boundary layer: short wavelengths following the flow and long wavelengths propagating northwards at an angle to the flow. 20 sec. between frames, 360 frames (2 hours), 378KB.

 

March 29 2004: Strong vertical wind shear! Light western winds near the ground turn into strong eastern winds at higher altitudes. 20 sec. between frames, 108 frames (36 min.), 117KB.

 

 

March 23 2004: A lee-wave is responsible for this spectacular display of forming/dissolving clouds including lenticular clouds. 20 sec. between frames, 180 frames (1 hour), 203KB. Larger version (720x480, 1092KB).

 

March 12 2004: Sunpillar tracing the position of the sun below the horizon. 20 sec. between frames, 62 frames (~21 min.), 53KB.

 

 

March 12 2004: A halo surrounding the setting sun. Notice how 2 layers of cirrus clouds move in almost perpendicular directions. 30 sec. between frames, 150 frames (1 hour 15 min.), 123KB.

 

 

March 12 2004: A sundog following the sun. 30 sec. between frames, 110 frames (55 min.). Note: 219KB, 71KB.

 

 

March 4 2004: This is captured just after the one below. 1 frame pr. 20 sec., 54 frames (18 min.), 47KB.

 

 

March 4 2004: Clearing skies after a short flurry around sunset. 1 frame pr. 30 sec., 79 frames (~40 min.), 61KB. Considering that it does get darker around sunset, I probably should have chosen longer exposure time...

 

March 2 2004: My first cloud movie! And otherwise I wouldn't have made it, because the sky was uniformly grey and boring. Even this small, clear strip disappears, but still it's a little interesting: If you look closely, you'll see that the clouds near the mountains move in the opposite direction of the closer ones. And then there are ravens and planes to make some 'noise'. 30 sec. between frames, 76 frames (38 min.), 41KB.

 

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