Saturday, 13 February 2010

Threatening clouds

This winter is certainly turning out to be unusual thanks to a relatively strong El Nino event. This time last year we had snow, ice and howling winds at Mauna Kea's summit and this year all there is to report are some high winds. The picture above was taken a couple of weeks ago and shows what look to be some threatening clouds just below the summit and high cirrus clouds capturing the light from the setting sun.

The low-level clouds never got to summit level and the high level stuff drifted away leaving us with another beautifully clear night. Some of the telescope operators feel that they're working overtime this winter - long winter nights are hard to start with but usually there's some compensation as bad weather wil often cut the nights short. Not this winter!

Left to right in Submillimeter Valley - the CSO, JCMT and the SMA. Click on the picture for a larger version.

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