Friday, July 2, 2010

Polar Winds

North polar troughs [the dark features in the image above] are the typical location to see evidence of strong polar surface winds. This VIS image shows 'streamers' of clouds created by catabatic winds. Catabatic winds are created by cold air sinking at the pole and then speeding along the surface towards the edge of the polar cap. When the wind enters troughs the wind regime changes from laminar flow to choatic and clouds of ice particles or dust are visible.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University

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