Australian Weather Calendar: January 2015

January Photograph by Cathy Newing

Lenticular cloud over Mount Macedon, Victoria

Weird shapes in a lenticular cloud above Mount Macedon, Victoria distracted Cathy Newing's botanical art class in May 2010. 'Everyone just stood outside and watched it,' says Cathy. She happened to have her Caplio R7 camera in her handbag, and caught the cloud in a series of shapes, including this bird-like profile. 'It was in that particular shape for probably only for less than five minutes,' Cathy recalls, 'and it was changing all the time.'

Lenticular clouds usually form downwind of a mountain range or elevated area. Mountains disrupt wind flow, creating a wave pattern on the lee side. Under certain conditions, moisture in the air condenses as it moves up to the crest of the wave, forming the lens shape that gives these clouds their name.

Diagram