High-level orographic cloud pattern occurred in the lee side of the Alps, gradually seen as a pronounced feature in the Convection RGB loop, along with the rising Sun.
By Ivan Smiljanic (DHMZ)
During sunrise high level mountain waves became easier to distinguish from the rest of the clouds in the Meteosat Convection RGB imagery, animation from 10 November 06:00–07:50 UTC (MP4, 5 MB) and Figure 1.
Day Microphysics RGB
The reason for that is the green component of the same RGB composite that includes a Sun reflection contribution in the 3.9 µm microphysical channel of SEVIRI instrument.
This also applies to the Day Microphysics RGB composite (Figure 2) which, even more so, has only the reflected component of the 3.9 µm channel (thermal Earth’s contribution extracted).
In the morning hours reflection from the very small ice particles, typical for high mountain waves, becomes gradually stronger. Reflection from the rest of the ice clouds naturally becomes gradually higher as well, but small ice particles always reflect much more.
Natural Colour RGB
From the Airmass RGB image (Figure 3) over the whole of Europe one could deduce the presence of the high-level north-westerly flow over the eastern Alps. This flow is responsible for the formation of observed wave cloud on the lee side of the mountains. This cloud looks very bright white in this RGB composite.
When we compare the different RGB combinations (Figure 1–4) it is obvious that the best contrast for wave clouds is given with the Convection RGB.
Previous case study
High-level mountain wave cloud over Pyrenees (2 July 2015)