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Gravity Waves Across A Streamer of Snow off Alaska
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Gravity Waves Across A Streamer of Snow off Alaska

April 3, 2013
Alaska was a frozen field of white on January 13, 2004, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image. Strong winds blew from the north, pulling streamers of snow from the Alaska Peninsula out over the Gulf of Alaska. Further evidence of moving air can be seen in the clouds south of the peninsula. When the air moving across Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea meets the mountains of the Alaska Peninsula, it is forced up and over the land. This sets up a wave in that layer of the atmosphere. The waves are called atmospheric gravity waves, and they are affecting the cloud patterns south of the peninsula. Faint wavy clouds have formed along the rise and fall of the disrupted air mass. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC


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