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Credit: A. Weaver

This is the view from Haleakala, the volcano that forms most of the island of Maui, one of the Hawaiian islands. The barren landscape reflects the island's volcanic origins. The peaks of this volcano reach to about 3000 m above sea-level.

The air pressure at 3000 m elevation is about two-thirds of what it is at sea-level. This altitude is still well-within the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere where we observe the weather. As can be seen in the photo, cumulus clouds do reach this elevation. Cirrus clouds form much higher still, nearer the top of the troposphere.

Neighbouring island peak, Mauna Kea, is well known for the astronomical observatories sited on its summit. That peak is a bit more than 1000 m higher and rises above the most common cloud formations.

UVic / SEOS / Climate Group / About Front Page Picture / View from Haleakala Last updated: Thursday, 31-May-2012 12:50:04 PDT
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