Kelvin-Helmholtz waves are vertical waves in the air associated with wind shear across statically-stable regions, the National Weather Service said. They can appear as breaking waves and as braided patterns in radar images and cloud photos. (Rachel Gordon)
BIG HORN, Wyoming - Some spectacular cloud formations in Wyoming were so inviting you could almost surf them.
In Big Horn earlier this month, Rachel Gordon captured photos of the breaking ocean waves known as Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds.
The rare phenomenon results from air moving in the same direction at two different altitudes, but the higher layer of air moves much faster. The faster layer results in the wave-like feature where saturated air is forced up and over drier air.
Since saturated air is heavier, it appears to "crash" down much like an ocean wave crashing back onto the water's surface.
These clouds are also a sign of turbulence since the surrounding air ascends and descends comparably quickly; pilots know to avoid them if possible.
Mother Nature's beauty is all around us, and these photographs are a perfect reminder to always look up.