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Wave Clouds and Windshear

The following panoramic photograph was taken at around 3:30 p.m. on 14 April 2004 at the Hong Kong International Airport towards Lantau Island to the south. Wave clouds were seen above the hilltops of Lantau Island with some appearing to extend to the sea area crossing the eastern departure corridors of the airport. These clouds are believed to be formed by wave motions in the easterly airflow over and to the lee of Lantau, where moisture in the air condenses into water droplets as a result of the upward motion. In the hour following the time of the photograph, two departing aircraft reported windshear. Ongoing scientific studies are being conducted to better understand the relationship between reported windshear events and wave clouds generated over Lantau.

Wave clouds observed at the Hong Kong International Airport on 14 April 2004
(Photo: Courtesy of Mr. C.M. Shun)