Mystery of the Missing Noctilucent Clouds: There’s been a “heat wave” in the polar mesosphere…

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June 15, 2017:

In late May 2017, observers in Europe began seeing electric-blue tendrils snaking over the western horizon at sunset.

The summer season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs) was apparently beginning. Normally, the strange-looking clouds surge in visibility in the weeks immediately after their first sighting.

This year, however, something mysterious happened. Instead of surging, the clouds vanished. During the first two weeks of June 2017, Spaceweather.com received ZERO images of NLCs — something that hasn’t happened in nearly 20 years.

Where did they go? Researchers have just figured it out: There’s been a “heat wave” in the polar mesosphere, a region in Earth’s upper atmosphere where NLCs form. Relatively warm temperatures have wiped out the clouds.

TO BE CONTINUED ON
http://news.spaceweather.com/mystery-of-the-missing-noctilucent-clouds/

 

 

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