June 7, 2009 - Wave Clouds in the Arabian Sea

Wave Clouds in the Arabian Sea

Dust and clouds form an interesting wave pattern over the Arabian Sea in this image, captured by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on June 1, 2009. In the top left corner of the image is Oman, on the Arabian Peninsula. It is unclear in this image where the dust is coming from, but it tinges the sky in this region with a yellow color. In the sky over the water, it ripples and blends with the clouds in waves.

Wave clouds are created when stable air is disturbed, causing air to move along the disturbance, like waves in a pond. If the layer of stable air is humid, where the air flows up, a cloud forms at the crest. Where it flows down, the cloud evaporates, giving the clouds the rippled pattern.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 06/01/2009
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC