31 May '14, 2pm

Ocean Clouds Meet Peru #NASA

Ocean Clouds Meet Peru #NASA

Ocean clouds meet the coastal desert in dramatic fashion on the coast of Peru, outlining the inland topography with precision. This image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on May 28, 2014, illustrates the balance of nature’s extremes: dry versus wet and high versus low. Formed in the moist ocean air, the clouds are closed-cell marine stratocumulus. Rounded and arranged in lines or waves, stratocumulus clouds form relatively low in the atmosphere. The closed-cell version of such clouds are usually shaped like a hexagon and surrounded by a channel of open air. Closed-cell clouds typically produce a light drizzle or no rain. Peru’s southern coast, by contrast, is a desert. It is a landscape of sand dunes where the wettest areas get an average of 200 millimeters (8 inches) of rain per year. The air is dry, and no c...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=83796&s...

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