The appearance of altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Hawaii

Hawaii is known for its gorgeous tropical terrain, with its beautiful beaches, lush forests and super powerful volcanoes. Yesterday we experienced yet another more rare natural wonder on Big Island that left everyone in awe. Many witnessed and captured these ethereal, otherworldly and even miraculous-looking clouds that graced the skies around the island. These clouds were not just any ordinary clouds but a display of atmospheric beauty that left locals and visitors mesmerized by their unique configuration.

The clouds that appeared over Hawaii yesterday were a phenomenon known as altocumulus lenticularis clouds. These clouds are a type of lens-shaped cloud formation that typically forms over mountains, such as Hawaii's Mauna Loa or Mauna Kea. These clouds are created when moist air is forced to rise over the mountain, cooling and condensing into these stunning formations.

While these clouds are fairly common over the western half of the mainland, thanks to the Rocky Mountains, they are relatively rare in Hawaii. This makes the appearance of the altocumulus lenticularis clouds even more special, and a reminder of the incredible diversity and beauty of our planet's natural phenomena.

The altocumulus lenticularis clouds are known for their distinctive shape and striking appearance. They are often described as saucer-shaped, with a smooth, curved top that resembles a UFO or a spaceship. These clouds can also appear in a series, creating a stunning display of overlapping layers that seem to be floating effortlessly in the sky.

The colors of these clouds can also vary, depending on the time of day and the angle of the sun. They can appear in iridescent rainbow or shades of white, gray, or even pink and orange during sunrise or sunset, creating a spectacular display of colors in the sky.

For many Hawaiians, the appearance of these clouds are seen as a blessing from the gods, a reminder of the beauty and power of nature. They are often interpreted as a sign of good luck, and many believe that they bring with them a sense of peace and tranquility.

The appearance of the altocumulus lenticularis clouds over Hawaii yesterday was a truly special and rare event. These strange and captivating cloud formations are a treasured experience by those who’ve had the privilege of seeing them. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing this magnificent natural phenomena in person and tell us when, where, what color/shape and how it made you feel!

With Aloha, 

The Duryea Team


Image by Christine Rolon-Inserra

Video on the different types of clouds: