Mint Stamp Booklet Includes 10 Weather Wonders
Now you can add Canada's 2018 Weather Wonders stamps to your collection in a mint booklet right now. Includes five designs – you get two of each stamp: steam fog, waterspout, lenticular clouds, light pillars, and moon halo. Inside the booklet is a brief story about the set in English and French. These striking photo-quality stamps will make great additions to your collection. Read on to learn more about the unusual weather elements pictured on these stamps...
Steam fog, also known as sea smoke or frost smoke, occurs when extremely cold air blows over a relatively warm body of water. The warmer air directly above the water is cooled and condenses, forming "steam." Since this phenomenon only occurs when air temperatures are very low, it is uncommon in areas outside the Arctic and Antarctic. However, since parts of northern Canada are within the Arctic Circle, some lakes and rivers in those territories likely experience steam fog in the winter.
A waterspout looks similar to a tornado, but is usually formed by completely unrelated weather patterns. Waterspouts form over water as part of a large, often dark, cumulus cloud. Non-tornadic waterspouts are most common and are much weaker than tornados – contrary to popular belief, they hardly every carry water up into the air. Tornadic waterspouts have been known to form occasionally, but since most tornadoes form over large flat land areas, water torandoes are rare. Waterspouts are most common in subtropical and tropical areas, but have been known on the Great Lakes and other large bodies of water, too. Most waterspouts last only a few seconds or up to a minute.
Lenticular clouds are interesting cloud formations that often resemble a saucer or disc. For this reason, they have sometimes been mistaken for UFOs. In reality, these clouds form when moist air comes into contact with the turbulent air above large objects on the ground such as mountains. Most aircraft avoid lenticular clouds as there tend to be large updrafts nearby, however these updrafts are actually desirable for glider pilots as they can reach great heights and soar long distances.
Light pillars are another weather wonder that only occurs in colder weather. This often beautiful display is caused by natural or artificial light being reflected by tiny ice crystals in the air, forming a high vertical column of light into the sky. The larger the ice crystals, the more dramatic an effect. Light pillars are actually an optical illusion – much like rainbows – which don't exist at a specific location and are only visible by observers at certain angles. This makes them even more special to view.
A moon halo is a phenomenon part of the "crystal halo" group. They can form around the moon or the sun and are called 22º halos by meteorologists. This is because the sun or moonlight is refracted by tiny ice crystals in the air and create a circle with a 22º radius. Because of the way the light is refracted by the ice crystals, the inside of the circle – closest to the sun or moon – appears darker than the area of sky outside the circle. Some say moon halos predict coming storms. This is probably because moon halos most often occur when the sky is covered with a thin layer of clouds – a phenomenon that usually occurs a few days before large storms.