logoMarys Peak Observatory Cloud Atlas

The Marys Peak Observatory webcam was set up to provide a visualization of the beauty of natural fluid flows. Clouds trace these flows, providing an educational glimpse into fluid motions in our atmosphere. Time-lapse movies depicting different types of flows can be linked to this website. Ongoing research in the College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences examines the physics of flows like these in both the atmosphere and the ocean.





High Cirrus and Clear Skies

Some days pass without a cloud in the sky. These days usually occur after the passing of a storm system and frontal boundary, when drier or more stable air moves into the area. Sometimes cirrus clouds can be seen gently moving by high above the peak. These clouds are too high to interact with the relatively low Marys Peak. Cirrus clouds generally mean fair weather and that for the meantime, the weather is great for a hike on the peak. However, they do mean that another storm system is approaching the area and that the weather will be changing in the coming day or so. For more information on general cirrus clouds, click here.

Our Mission

This webcam was funded by the National Science Foundation, with the original camera being installed by the Ocean Mixing Group on the roof of Burt Hall at Oregon State University on April 28th, 2010. The webcam is a part of experimental investigations into the physics of form drag in geophysical flows. The Biomicrometrology Group maintains the site as part of ongoing studies to understand and quantify interactions between the air, vegetation, and the land surface. The images obtained here are intended to complement studies of controlled flows over topographic obstacles in ocean and atmosphere. On August 4th, 2014, the Biomicrometeorology group at Oregon State University installed a new camera with near-infrared sensitivity to increase the window of viewability.

A collaborative, NSF-funded project by
C. Thomas, S. deSzoeke, L. Mahrt & E. Skyllingstad / OSU Atmospheric Sciences
J. Moum & J. Nash / OSU Ocean Mixing Group

Cloud Atlas compiled by REU student M. Spagnolo