Frigid air blowing from Eastern Russia created dramatic cloud formations over the Sea of Okhotsk on Nov. 25, 2017, with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite acquiring a true-color image of the stunning scene.
Snow covers the land of Eastern Russia in the west of the image, with a large bank of cloud overlying the land in the northwest. Long parallel rows of cumulus clouds blow off the snow-covered area and over the blue waters of the Sea of Okhotsk. These “cloud streets” form as cold, dry air from the land blows across relatively warmer, much moister ocean water and creates cylinders of spinning air. Where the air is rising, small clouds form. Where the air is descending, the skies are clear. The cloud streets align along the direction of the wind movement.
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC