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Wind Ice

I spotted this strange, vertical cloud early on the second day of spring, 2015. It was rising rapidly from the southwest ridge line on an otherwise crystal clear morning. There was no wind at ground level where I stood watching it stretch into the sky and no sighing sounds of wind rushing through pine needles at higher altitudes. No similar clouds were in the sky anywhere in sight.

There is a large, shallow pond at about 10,000 ft elevation in that vicinity. It may have been borne out of that in some freakish circumstance of evaporation of its night-chilled contents by very bright mid-morning sunlight followed by super fast freezing of the rising column of moisture.

In less than fifteen minutes it had tripled in length without spreading much in width. The little cloud at the base never grew much either, making it look as if a comet had come streaking in from the left and impacted the earth just over the ridge. It stayed in the sky for more than an hour before finally evaporating. Very glad to have been outside watching to see it happen.

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