Actinae in the North Pacific Ocean

March 29th, 2008 |

AVHRR false color images (Animated GIF)

AVHRR false color imagery (above; viewed using Google Earth) and GOES-11 visible channel imagery (below) revealed a family of cyclonic vorticies  propagating westward across the eastern North Pacific Ocean on 29 March 2008. The radially-banded cloud features that form such cloud “swirls” are known as actinae or actinoform clouds, and they are seen occasionally in the marine stratocumulus cloud field over the Pacific Ocean (for example, other similar cases were observed in March 2007 and June 1997). This type of cloud pattern was first observed on TIROS V imagery way back in August 1962 and October 1962.

GOES-11 visible images (Animated GIF)