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Levanter clouds over Gibraltar

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Cumulus, nimbus, cirrus, stratus. These cloud formations are well-known, but what kind of cloud is forming over the Rock of Gibralter?

Introducing the levanter cloud, as seen in this time-lapse from 2018 and in this now-viral 2022 video:


The levant is a strong easterly wind, best known in the Strait of Gibraltar. Via The Weather Network:

“These ‘banner clouds’ occur when air which is moist, but not totally saturated, interacts with a sharp mountain peak,” explains Michael Carter, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. ‘As the atmosphere flows over and around the peak, an area of lower pressure forms on the downwind or “lee” side. This slightly lower pressure causes condensation to occur, leading to the formation of a streamer of cloud in an otherwise clear sky.'”

The formation made the news, but it’s nothing new to locals. Here’s another video from 2020:


The Leinster Aero Club video below describes the wind and air pressure conditions that create the phenomenon:

weather systems through gibralter

Watch these cloud videos next:
• How to be a cloud detective
• Why So Many Cloud Types? How to identify clouds
Why Do Clouds Stay Up?
• Adiabatic expansion and how to make a cloud in a bottle
• How to Make a Cloud in Your Mouth with Physics Girl

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