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From: Dan Richter (1:317/3)
To: All
Date: Thu, 15.04.21 13:00
MODIS Pic of the Day 15 April 2021
April 15, 2021 - Cloud Streets Franz Josef Islands


Cloud Streets Franz Josef Islands

Located just 600 miles (970 kilometers) from the North Pole, Franz
Josef Land is a frigid archipelago made up of 91 islands, and
perpetually wears a coat of ice. Glaciers cover roughly 85 percent of
the land masses and sea ice floats in the channels between islands even
in the summertime.

In mid-April 2021, frigid air temperatures and strong wind combined to
create a dramatic canopy of cloud over the islands. The Moderate
Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua
satellite acquired a true-color image of the scene on April 13.

The stunning cloud formations are not your typical cumulus clouds. They
are organized in rows parallel to the direction of the wind. Called
“cloud streets”, this formation is created when a cold air mass moves
over a relatively warmer body of water. When this occurs, columns of
warm air rise through the atmosphere, carrying heat away from the sea
surface. The moist air rises until it hits a warmer layer of air (a
temperature inversion) which ends up acting like a lid, stopping the
rising air. They rising thermals then roll over on themselves to form
parallel cylinders of rotating air. As the air rises, clouds form and
where the air descends the skies remain clear. In this case, most of
the frigid air mass originates over a large mass of sea ice rather than

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 4/13/2021
Resolutions: 1km (393.4 KB), 500m (1.2 MB), 250m (3.6 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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