Cloud surfers head for Morning Glory

A hang glider surfs a morning glory cloud at Burketown. Photo: Burke Shire Council.
A hang glider surfs a morning glory cloud at Burketown. Photo: Burke Shire Council.

It's morning glory season in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The unusual cloud formation is reasonably common towards the end of September, especially around the Burketown area.

This gorgeous example (above) was posted by Burke Shire Council and shows a hang glider hovering near the cloud with the Albert River in the background.

"Its that time of year again, when Burketown is visited by our magnificent Morning Glory Cloud and the cloud surfers arrive to take advantage of a ride of a lifetime," Burke Shire Council said.

The long rolling clouds often appear during spring, when cool ocean temperatures meet with warm land temperatures though the phenomenon is not fully understood by meteorologists.

Morning Glories can stretch for up to 1000km and the Gulf of Carpentaria region is one of the few places they can be predicted and observed on a regular basis due to the configuration of land and sea in the area.

Burketown: Is found the far north-western Shire of Burke, Queensland. It is 898km west of Cairns.

Burketown: Is found the far north-western Shire of Burke, Queensland. It is 898km west of Cairns.

Morning Glory clouds are usually observed from late September to early November.

Catching the morning glory is a holy grail activity for glider pilots and hang gliders.

Gliders look to find air going up faster than they are going down and that's what happens in front of the cloud where there is a really strong updraft and that's where they fly along.

Gangalidda traditional owners say the morning glory was created by Walalu, the Rainbow Serpent.

This story Cloud surfers head for Morning Glory first appeared on The North West Star.