In the photograph there are several stacked clouds, forming together in a striking lenticular cloud.
Under normal conditions, the air moves more horizontally than vertically. However, sometimes, as when the air rises up a mountain or a hill, relatively strong vertical oscillations occur before the air stabilizes.
The moisture content of dry air on the cusp of an oscillation can be very stratified, which causes cloud formation by layers of moisture saturation. The result can be a lenticular cloud with a strongly stratified appearance. The photo was taken near Mauna Kea, in Hawaii.
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