Cape Verde von Kármán Vortex Streets

By WeatherFlow meteorologist Shea Gibson 5/12/18

One of the great things about the new GOES-16 satellite imagery is the ability to see microscale events in high definition far beyond our coast to the east over the Atlantic ocean.

Check out these ripples called  “von Kármán vortex streets” created from NE flow across the Cape Verde Islands just west of the African Coast. This is caused by the separation of moisture over the mountains of these island as the winds blow across them.

This process is very much like how wind would whip across a powerline and create the vortices on the other side, giving it the ripple-like effect (and that “singing” effect as well).Just as a FYI….another hot-spot for this to occur is Jeju Island off the coast of the Korean peninsula during strong cool Northerly winds across its tall volcano peak.

Just another one of those neat-o things that occurs in the atmosphere that lets us know how the surface and atmosphere can work together to create beautiful patterns. Until next time, take care and keep up with our forecaster blogs at http://blog.weatherflow.com/ – make sure to toggle the varous regions for lots of valuable information from our team!

Shea Gibson
WeatherFlow Meteorologist/Wind Forecaster
Outreach & New Station Projects
SE Region/East Coast
Twitter: @WeatherFlowCHAS

Sources:
https://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/
GREarth: http://www.grlevelx.com/grearth/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n_vortex_street