Mysterious Morning Glory Cloud Formation

    The Morning Glory cloud is a rare meteorological phenomenon observed in Northern Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria. A Morning Glory cloud is a roll cloud that can be up to 1000 kilometers long, 1 to 2 kilometers high, and can move at speeds up to 60 kilometers per hour. The Morning Glory is often accompanied by sudden wind squalls, intense low-level wind shear, a rapid increase in the vertical displacement of air parcels, and a sharp pressure jump at the surface. In the front of the cloud, there is strong vertical motion that transports air up through the cloud and creates the rolling appearance, while the air in the middle and rear of the cloud becomes turbulent and sinks.

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    Despite being studied extensively, the Morning Glory cloud is not clearly understood. 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 due to the mesoscale circulations associated with sea breezes that develop over the peninsula and the gulf. On the large scale, Morning Glories are usually associated with frontal systems crossing central Australia and high pressure in northern Australia. Locals have noted that the Morning Glory is likely to occur when the humidity in the area is high, which provides moisture for the cloud to form, and when strong sea breezes have blown the preceding day.

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