Morning Glory: the most spectacular clouds on the planet


Morning Glory: the most spectacular clouds on the planet

Morning Glories are an atmospheric phenomenon composed mainly of clouds. Morning Glories are huge rollers of clouds that can extend across the horizon, moving from the ocean to the land. These clouds can be up to 2km thick and up to 1000km long.

They usually form at about 1-2 km of altitude. They are formed when the air waves arriving from the ocean, which usually move horizontally, collide with the humid and warm air that is released from the ground at dawn, and which rises vertically.

The place most subject in the world to the formation of Morning Glories is undoubtedly Australia, and more precisely the North of Australia, the Cape York Peninsula, bordered by the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Coral Sea.

The phenomenon is in fact due to the combination of different factors such as pressure, humidity, air, ocean breeze, so it occurs only in some places on the planet. The most advantageous point to be able to observe it is Burketown, in Queensland.

However, there are numerous sightings of phenomena similar to Morning Glory, which occur rarely.

Morning Glory: the most spectacular clouds on the planet

Similar scenarios have been observed in the central United States, over the Channel, over Berlin and in eastern Russia.

The phenomenon was also observed on Sable Island, a very thin island in Canada located 180 km south-east of Nova Scotia and Mexico. When the currents collide, the air is forced to rise thus forming a line of clouds practically as long as the whole peninsula.

At night, the air cools and lowers while at the same time an inversion area is created on the Gulf. The inversion allows the mass to generate a series of waves that cross the Gulf. At dawn the air will be sufficiently saturated for the wave to produce a cloud that becomes Morning Glory.

A research, one of the main causes of most Morning Glory events is due to the mesoscale circulations associated with sea breezes that develop on the peninsula and the gulf. Locals have noted that Morning Glories likely occur when the area's humidity is high.