Australian Weather Calendar: July 2019

July photograph by Margaret Brown

Go where the wind blows

It was a lucky detour that led Margaret Brown to this beautiful scene near the Breakaways in outback South Australia. On a camping trip from Adelaide to Alice Springs, Margaret and her travel companions had been stuck in William Creek for two days due to heavy rains. Instead of heading to Oodnadatta as originally planned, they had to take the road to Coober Pedy, and thankfully the wet weather didn't follow them. Margaret says while they experienced a variety of weather on their trip to the Red Centre, including dramatic storms and black, threatening clouds, it was these cirrus clouds that caught her eye. She recalls how the clouds danced in the winds against a bright blue sky, contrasting with the red dusty road below. Margaret has had a keen interest in photography since she was a young girl, processing and printing her own films since the age of nine. So, it's no surprise that she is now the technical editor of Photo Review Australia, a magazine that reviews photographic equipment. 'Photography is a wonderful way of integrating with the world around you,' Margaret says. And who knows where it will take her next?

The science

Fine white threads of cloud form a stark contrast to the brilliant blue sky in this photo. The thin and wispy clouds are known as cirrus clouds. They are made of ice crystals and are located high up in the atmosphere. Cirrus clouds often move along in a fast-flowing wind, high above the ground, known as a jet stream. This jet stream crosses Australia from west to east and is part of the general circulation of the atmosphere. It is this fast-flowing wind that gives these clouds their fine stretched-out look.