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20. Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Atmospheric Frontal Wave
Analysis of weather data corresponding to the time at which this photograph was taken reveals a significant atmospheric frontal wave near Albania with associated instability waves southwest of the Greek islands. In this 50-mm-lens photograph, the island of Zante appears near the center of the frame, with the coast of Ilia on the Peloponnisos running along the bottom of the frame. The parallel rolls of cloud (upper left and to the right of the reflectivity alteration on the ocean surface) denote gravity wave ripples on a low-level inversion layer. The weather satellite data therefore indicate that the change in the ocean's textural characteristics, observed here as a tonal change, is probably caused solely by the atmospheric front and is not the result of dynamic ocean forces. The fact that the parallel roll clouds mark the leading edge of the frontal weather system explains the great difference between these clouds and those to the far right of the frame.
STS-41G, October 1984. Picture #17-42-047