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Spectacular UFO Lenticular Cloud & X-Files "X" Timelapse 3-9-2010 in Santa Clarita

A few times each year in Santa Clarita, the conditions are just right for these strange clouds to form. They're sometimes called "UFO" clouds because of their rounded, saucer-like shapes and hovering behavior. They've been around as long as any other kind of clouds, and were "officially" described/catalogged in the mid 1800s - long before man could fly, HAARP or even use of electricity by humans. Much earlier records (paintings, text, etc.) no doubt exist as well. In the scientific world, they're known as Lenticular clouds (Altostratus lenticularis), or "standing wave" clouds, and generally form over, downwind of, or sometimes upwind of mountain ranges. This event occured in the afternoon and evening of March 9th, 2010 when fast-moving winds aloft were deflected upwards by the mountains near Santa Barbara (Los Pinetos National Forest), providing some spectacular skies around sunset.The cause is interesting... Fluid dynamics also apply to air, since wind moves much like water; it flows over the surface of the earth and when it encounters surface features (like mountains) it flows up and over them, like boulders in a river, generating ripples/rapids in the airstream above and downwind. Unlike water, these air currents are normally invisible, unless clouds exist to make them visible. Lenticular clouds form when moist air from lower altitude is forced up into colder, lower pressure layers of the atmosphere where it condenses at the peaks of the air rapids and waves. As the air descends down from the peaks, it warms and evaporates. The result is a cloud that remains mostly stationary while lower cumulus and higher cirrus clouds pass above and below. The size and shape of cloud is determined by the shape of the air current "rapids" and conditions at adjacent altitudes. Lenticulars which form at the peaks of "rapids" can be rounded and oblong like the one shown here. Waves, shelves, and other shapes can also form, as seen at the end of the video and in my many other Lenticular cloud videos.This basic diagram I found online shows a bit of what's happening: interesting item in the sky near sunset was a jet trail fragment cross in the nearly perfect shape of an X-Files "X" - even the font was right! Two still images captured with a Casio EX-F1 at 12x zoom show this interesting feature close-up, while an annotation in the last time lapse video sequence shows it barely visible at such a wide angle.The music is the last half of "Lunar Seas" from the "StarSpin" online (EP) CD by TECHNICIAN (yours truly), which was originally written and released (in part) on the "Fun with Fire" video. Full artist discography, MP3 downloads and CDs are available at the Technician website: HTTP:// the show!Note: This is copyrighted material, however, you may download this footage directly from YouTube and use it free of charge in your own non-profit/non-commercial YouTube videos. The full free usage policy with copyright notice/claim and partner ad info can be found here: and read both sections before using JCMDI material - Thanks!)
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