A pile of plates

Lenticular cloud formations climbing into the afternoon sky over West Otago. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

A pile of plates, a stacker, or an omen of things to come, call it whatever you like but you can’t say that it isn’t spectacular.
This pair of lenticular cloud formations climbing high into the afternoon sky were snapped over the West Otago area on Saturday by Clutha Leader reporter John Cosgrove.

Another Lenticular cloud formation climbs high above Lawrence.PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
A Lenticular cloud formation climbs into the afternoon sky over West Otago fields. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams said lenticular clouds were formed by strong northwesterly winds blowing over the Southern Alps.
“You basically get a standing wave when the wind goes over the mountains. That is, the air is descending, then rising, then descending again.
“These types of cloud formations form where the standing wave is rising and the air is cooling, therefore water is condensing and you get clouds.”
Often, you’ll see a sequence of these types of lenticular clouds, which are notoriously dangerous to even powerful commercial aircraft who have to deviate and go around them.