Mini Cloud Atlas
Flying over South Florida on the way back from a hurricane conference, I spotted this cumulus atop a tilted smoke plume. The smoke rose hot and high from a fire in a sugar cane field, south of Lake Okeechobee. Cumulus clouds atop large smoke plumes are fairly common, especially when the environment is already moist and unstable enough for cumulus development. In fact, numerous other cumuli can be seen in the background and to the right, east and south of the lake. They formed as the land was heated during the day, then dissipated as they drifted over relatively cool and stable air above the lake waters. The town of Clewiston can be seen at lower left; and the fire location is close to the Hendry/Palm Beach County line.
over Immokalee FL (5 Dec 98) Looking NE