Actinoform Clouds (Actinae) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean

March 13th, 2007 |

GOES-11 visible image

GOES-11 visible channel (daytime) and 3.9 µm shortwave IR (nighttime) imagery revealed an interesting cyclonic vortex which was propagating westward across the eastern North Pacific Ocean on 13-14 March 2007 (Java animation | QuickTime animation). The radial banded cloud features that form such a cloud “swirl” are known as actinae or actinoform clouds, and they are seen occasionally in the marine stratocumulus cloud field over the Pacific Ocean (one such case was June 1997). This type of cloud pattern was first observed back in 1962 on TIROS V imagery near Hawaii.

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