Like a magical motorway running straight through the sky, morning glory clouds are an extraordinary weather phenomenon. A rarity in the rest of the world, they roll around regularly in remote regions of northern Australia, caused by wave-like currents in the air.
These mysterious banks of cloud stretch across the sky from one horizon to the other. Appearing regularly in early morning between September and November, the clouds form in north-eastern Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria, and roll in over Burketown, Queensland. The captivating clouds form on waves in the atmosphere created when moist sea air meets a layer of drier air.
Moisture-laden air blows in from the sea at night, pushing underneath a drier layer of air blown out from the land and creating a wave. Cloud is continuously formed in the upward current of the wave as the moisture-heavy air rises, cools, and condenses. In the downward current, the cloud evaporates. This continuous condensation and evaporation forms the roll-shaped bank of cloud.