I have a small 5 acre piece of property bordering the Anza Borrego Desert in San Diego County California.
The elevation is 2550 feet above sea level. It takes one hour from here to drive to the beach and sea level. Separating my property and the sea is the Cuyamaca Mountain Range, rising over 4000 feet above sea level on one side, and Imperial Valley that is also the lowest point in Southern California at 200 feet under sea level.
This makes for a great viewing of these oddly shaped Lenticular Clouds.
Lenticular clouds develop when relatively stable, fast moving air is forced over a topographic barrier that is perpendicular to the direction the upper level wind is blowing. This deflection creates a gravity downwind of the mountain, kind of like throwing a rock in the water. When moisture is present above mountain top level, these clouds develop within the crest of these mountain waves. They continually develop and dissipate in the vicinity of the wave’s crest and downwind of the crest.