While driving through the mountains of Pennsylvania last week on our way home from Baltimore we noticed an odd arrangement of clouds.
These huge clouds protruded above the mountain range and seemed to be columnar in shape. Strangely enough, they seemed to also be individual clouds forming a line above the mountains.
At this point in the trip on I-76 we were about to go through a mile long tunnel that goes through the Alleghany Mountains. This tunnel is truly a monumental work of engineering dug and built during the Great Depression in the 1930’s as part of the WPA projects.
The walls are lined with glossy, glazed white tile reflecting your headlights back at you and the two lane road runs smoothly through the mountain. At the end, you are rewarded with a blinding light from the other side of the mountain. As children we got quite excited about going into one side of a mountain and coming out on the other often finding the weather changed from one side to the other. Sometimes rain or snow on the east and clear skies on the west. It still holds a little magic in my mind when driving through this passage but even more so when there are weather differences to notice.
Last week was no exception. The magic still held and I was mesmerized by the fantastic cloud formations when exiting on the west side. What we saw on the east side going into the tunnel was a few oddly shaped columnar clouds equally spaced out in a clear blue sky.
What we saw on our exit going westward was a strange arrangement of uniquely distinct, unconnected columnar clouds which gave way to a long grouping of clouds that looked like a pearl necklace of sorts with odd shaped clouds strung together over the next ridge of mountains. There were no other clouds in sight for miles and miles. The discussion in the car about clouds lasted for many miles and neither I nor my hubby could figure out what type of weather conditions would produce this type of cloud formation.
It seems my education came up sorely lacking in the weather department. I guess I should have paid more attention in science class. My understanding of cloud formations and weather patterns could not even remotely be considered comprehensive; even the rather ditsy 1960’s weather bunny had a better handle on why these things occur. I just know that there was a cloud necklace in the otherwise cloudless sky and it was beautiful. Just thought I’d share.