Annual Morning Glory clouds observed through Burketown, Queensland
Saturday, November 2nd, 2019
Some magnificent morning glory roll clouds were evident on satellite early this morning for parts of the Gulf of Carpentaria and Burketown, QLD. Morning glory clouds often occur during the months of September and October when cooler ocean temperatures intersect with warmer temperatures over the landmass.
Before the wet season commences, the weather trend begins to alternate back and forth between wet season and dry season patterns, with cycles of three to four days of dry season southeasterly trade winds followed by a few days of seabreezes associated with heat troughs. These patterns signal the onset of the ?morning glory season? as there is always a seabreeze with high humidity levels the day before the arrival of the phenomena.
One of the best locations to observe the morning glory is Burketown, QLD during these months. The morning glory cloud traditionally wisps through Karumba, QLD prior to dawn and arrives shortly after first light through the Burketown area. This roll clouds then tend to dissipate over the landmass where less low-level moisture is available. In some instances, cloud bands can reach up to 1,000km in length, 1 to 2 kilometres in width, 200m above the surface and travel of speeds up to 60km/h.
Glider pilots specifically target these events for gliding. What makes hang-gliding the so incredible is the lifting air rising up over the advancing cloud, offering pilots the chance to soar without constantly seeking thermal lift, much like water pushes a surfer up the face of the wave. The pilots harness this wind energy to glide in front this incredible natural occurrence.
Morning glory clouds also bring cultural significance in that Gangalidda people believe the morning glory was created by Walalu, the Rainbow Serpent. Secondly, the Gangalidda believe the phenomena is also a source of energy. People involved in traditional aboriginal law and ceremony can tap into that energy. The cloud formation is also celebrated as part of Burketown's annual Morning Glory Festival at the end of September.
Image 1: Himawari 8 VIS True Colour 07:10 - Saturday, 2nd November 2019.