Status Report

“Cloud Hole” Near Tasmania

By SpaceRef Editor
June 11, 2012
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This visible image of a “cloud hole” was taken near Tasmania in the Southern Pacific Ocean. It was captured on June 5 at 0500 UTC (1 a.m. EDT/U.S.) by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite.

This is a good visible example of how upper-level atmospheric features affect the lower atmosphere, because the cloud hole is right under the center of a strong area of high pressure. High pressure forces air down to the surface blocking cloud formation. In addition, the altocumulus clouds are rotating counter-clockwise around the hole, which in the southern hemisphere indicates high pressure.

SpaceRef staff editor.