Breaking waves and rotors | The Meteorological Society of New Zealand

Breaking waves and rotors

C. Revell

The mountains of New Zealand provide spectacular scenery in themselves. They also modify the flow of air across them in ways which are known to both professional and sports aviators – sometimes to their cost. When such air movements are made visible through the formation of cloud some interesting and dramatic skyscapes can result. An unusual manifestation of the airflow over mountains was reported by glider pilot R. D. Kerr of Auckland when soaring near the Kaimai Range on 29 December 1981. Photographs and full accounts of his observations have been published in "Gliding Kiwi" (Vol. 15, 2, 1982) and "New Zealand Flight Safety" (Vol. 10, 1, 1983) with his comments on the aspects of airmanship called for in such circumstances. As the phenomenon is of general interest this article has been written to give a summary of the conditions encountered by Mr Kerr with notes on the meteorological background.

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