Sunday, February 5, 2012

Amazing Photo from Panama City, Florida, This Morning

Rich Thomas, WFLA-TV via Facebook

This is an amazing photo from Panama City this morning. No, it is not hurricane sea spray.

Let me explain what you are seeing:

If you've even been on an airplane when the humidity is high, you have probably seen cloud or cloud fragments on the top of a wing. This is due to the pressure falling (causing the humidity to rise to 100%) as the air travels over the top of the wing faster than the air under the wing. That drop in pressure lifts the wing and the entire plane.

So, in this case, the ambient outdoor humidity was just below 100%. When the air is forced to accelerate over the hotels, the humidity goes up to 100% just like it does over a wing.

I've never seen this before with hotels. Really cool shot.

ADDITION: Found a photo of cloud over the top of wings.
A full explanation is here.

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