Saturday, December 17, 2011

Amazing K-H Waves Near Birmingham Yesterday Morning

The occurrence of these Kelvin-Helmholtz waves was noted on the Albany MAP chatboard this morning. The waves occurred the morning of 16 December, 2011 (yesterday), and were photographed here from the Birmingham, Alabama, airport. There are more photos and a video at:    The waves formed on the top of a very low stratus or fog layer, providing this spectacular perspective. 

Edited to add an old Air Force memory: The airplane in the left foreground is a USAF KC-135, most of which were fuel tankers; some of these had been retrofitted to carry passengers but with no windows added. In the spring of 1974 I was assigned an extra duty day as the Strategic Air Command top secret courier (hardly a fitting duty for a weather forecaster). This meant I spent a stormy, very bumpy day in one of these KC-135s carrying "important" stuff to and from every SAC base in the northeast U.S. Not fun for someone who was nervous about flying, even when I could see what was going by outside. As an added bonus, I was accompanied by a bodyguard - a sergeant carrying a huge pistol of some kind. My task was to keep hold of the sealed bags of secret stuff no matter what. Needless-to-say, this was an experience I'll never forget.

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