20+ Dramatic Shots of Lenticular Clouds

Alvord Desert, Oregon

Mostly seen above mountains or hills, lenticular clouds are extraordinary clouds that, due to their smooth, saucer-like shape, are often mistaken for UFOs. Lenticular clouds are formed when a current of moist air is forced upwards as it travels over a mountain, causing the moisture to condense and form a cloud.

They can appear as if they’re sitting stationary, hovering above our planet in an unusual fashion for hours or even days. That’s because the flow of moist air continually resupplies the cloud from the windward side even as water evaporates and vanishes from the leeward side.

Lenticular clouds are considered a rare sight, especially in areas where there are no mountains. For photographers, they’re an incredible treat, especially when shot at a particular time of day. When the sun sets, one can witness a spectacular display as the clouds are lit with brilliant colors, almost as if someone had used a paintbrush and painted the sky. As Adamus said about the photo above, "Surreal, otherworldly, foreboding…perhaps a once in a lifetime combination of colors, shapes and textures. This awesome lenticular cloud formation occurred at sunset over Oregon’s Alvord Desert in late December, ahead of an impending storm.”

Compiled for you today, here are 20+ shots of dramatic lenticular clouds.

Above photo credit: Marc Adamus

Klyuchevskaya Sopka Mountain, East Russia

Photo credit: Dementievskiy Ivan


West Yorkshire, England

Photo credit: Steve Price

Oxenhope, Near Bradford, England

Photo credit: Brian Middelton

Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, Chile

Photo credit: Christopher Dawson

Alabama Hills, Calfornia

Photo credit: James Neeley

Mount Dana, Yosemite Park, California

Photo credit: Tim Fitzharris

Mount Redentore, Italy

Photo credit: Alessio Andreani

Salar de Talar near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Photo credit: Luca Galuzzi

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Photo credit: Steve Gould

Rangipo Desert, Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand

Photo credit: Bevan Percival

Mt Rainier, Washington, USA

Photo credit: James Clark

Queenstown, New Zealand

Photo credit: Trey Ratcliff

Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

Photo credit: Trey Ratcliff

Tararua Range Mountains, North Island, New Zealand

Photo credit: Chris Picking

Granada, The Alhambra And Sierra Nevada

Photo credit: Guido Montanes Castillo

Trail Ridge, Deer Mountain, Colorado

Photo credit: Richard Hahn

Roquetes, Catalonia, Spain

Photo credit: Marialuisa Wittlin

Lee Side of Rocky Mountains

Photo credit: Richard Hahn

Whitmore Hot Springs, California

Photo credit: Dave Toussaint

Palm Springs, California

Photo credit: Tom Lowe

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