Morning Glory Clouds

By Anupum Pant

In the southern part of the Gulf of Carpentaria in Northern Australia from late September to early November a rare natural phenomenon is witnessed by thousands of tourists and locals of Burketown who come to see it – The rolling morning glory clouds.

These are huge 1000 km long rolling clouds appear about 1-2 km from ground every year. This is the only place where they are seen regularly and can be predicted. Some times just one, other times tens of them go rolling in the skies at speeds of 10-20 meters per second.

The Morning Glory cloud is not clearly understood because their rarity means they have little significance in terms of rainfall or climate.Regardless of the complexity behind the nature of this atmospheric phenomenon, some conclusions have been made about its causes. Through research, one of the main causes of most Morning Glory occurrences is the mesoscale circulations associated with sea breezes that develop over the peninsula and the gulf.

These have been seen in Japan and several other places too.

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