Cloud surfing

March 22, 2007

Burketown Northern Australia, under the Gulf of Carpentaria a cloud formation known as the Morning Glory:

cloud surfing

“With a population of just 178, Burketown sits in one of Australia’s most remote shires. But every September and October, a small group of individuals journey from all corners of the country for the appearance of a remarkable and dramatic cloud called the Morning Glory. Clouds don’t usually have names, nor are they normally linked to a particular location, but then the Morning Glory is no normal cloud. Looking like a huge white roll of meringue, it stretches up to 600 miles (about the length of Britain) and sweeps over Burketown at speeds of up to 35mph. The visitors who come to marvel at this beautiful and awe-inspiring meteorological phenomenon are an intrepid group of glider pilots, for whom the cloud promises the most unique and thrilling flying conditions of anywhere in the world. Each year they come to this sleepy town in the hope of ‘soaring’ the Morning Glory, an exhilarating gliding adventure that can only be described as cloud-surfing.”

source: the cloud apprecaition society but quoted and seen be me here

“After accidentally sleeping in the next morning, they made a scramble to get to the airport. “We lined up on the runway, just as the cloud rolled overhead, very low, eclipsing the sunshine as it went. We caught it halfway down the strip, the windsock still indicating nil wind, turned low and faced this great, grey Chiko Roll at 400 feet,” Russell says.

Rapidly they ascended to 330 metres, and suddenly they were at the front of the cloud, moving up quickly. It was at this moment that they killed the engine. “The silence was eerie as we continued to rise, awestruck by the spectacle. It was truly a magic moment.”

They rode the cloud inland until it petered out, then turned tail and headed back to Burketown, thrilled and amazed at what they had achieved. A few years later, Russell returned to do it all again and to his delight, reached speeds of 150km/hr, unofficially breaking several world records.”

source

Really does sound like surfing.

The original post by Kevin Kelly was about a book, the cloudspotters guide, about understanding cloud formations as predictions of weather. Douglas Wilcox posted on this subject: mackerel sky.

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