I wasn’t expecting to see more after my last post on lenticular clouds. As I said, they’re (usually) rare in this area. But as I left the office Friday evening, I pulled onto the freeway and nearly freaked out at what I saw: A line of three smooth, layered clouds running above the ridge of the mountains to the north of Saddleback, and two more less-defined clouds picking up south of the peaks. I took the first exit and headed for a spot where I knew I could get an unobstructed view: a park in the Quail Hill area. (Knollcrest, I think.)
It was near sunset, and I was in a hurry to get some photos (not to mention a better chance to look at them!) before the light faded. You can see that the sun had already dropped behind the hill on which I was standing.
If you look at the horizon in the wide view, near the left at what looks like the base of the hills, you can see the orange balloon at the Great Park. I’m fairly sure they’d stopped taking people up by then, though I did see it airborne during my walk at lunch.
I’ve enhanced the contrast on these next few images, all cropped from the same photo to show close-ups (relatively speaking) of the three clouds:
I’m going to do something unusual here, and post an original-resolution copy of that contrast-enhanced photo, just ’cause it’s so cool. It compressed really well, to 170K, but beware—it’s still a 2,567 pixel–wide image.
[…] before sunset. This was taken from Knollcrest Park, roughly the same view as last month’s lenticular cloud photos. This is looking across the Saddleback Valley toward the Santa Ana Mountains. The smoke has cleared […]