Clouds over the Galtees were not spaceships!

Following a spectacular display of multiple Lenticular cloud formations over The Golden Vale on the morning and afternoon of Sunday, June 26 at 8:15 a very unusual grey multilayered Lenticular appeared.

Following a spectacular display of multiple Lenticular cloud formations over The Golden Vale on the morning and afternoon of Sunday, June 26 at 8:15 a very unusual grey multilayered Lenticular appeared.

According to Jill Mabbott, ex-U.K. Met. Office, now living in Tipperary 20 years, this is not a spaceship full of alien invaders, but a type of cloud formed by the airflow over The Galtees, which on that day was coming up from the South-South-East.

She explains - “Lenticular clouds are unusual in that they appear in the crests of waves of air set up by mountain barriers, waves which happen in the same way as ripples form in the water downstream of an underwater rock in a riverbed. The air-waves are invisible until clouds are formed at their crests. These clouds have a lens-shape seen sideways on, which is why they got their Latin name. The air-waves only become visible as moist air condenses into water droplets at their leading edge. At the trailing edge, the cloud droplets evaporate into invisibility again, which gives the effect of the whole cloud hovering in one place.

It is no wonder that in modern times they get called Flying Saucers! Another name for them is the French “Pile d’Assiettes”, meaning “Pile of Plates”. Lenticular clouds form worldwide near mountain barriers, but the wind needs to be in s suitable direction. Southerly winds are not common in Ireland. This photo was taken looking S.S.E. from Cullen. The big white billowing clouds in the distance are Cumulus.