The fall wind patters create an ideal condition for the annual Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM. The weather phenomenon is called the Albuquerque Box, and it's the condition created by cool air flowing down the mountain through the valley at night and early morning while a little higher up the prevailing breeze is blowing the opposite direction.
So when a balloon launches it gets blown South. The pilot then heats up the balloon air to lift it to the next level where the wind blows it North. After traveling North for a while, he let's the balloon sink back down to the first level to go South. Picture a box. Theoretically the balloon can take off and land on roughly the same spot. It's rather remarkable.
This year's festival ended today, and here are a few photos from last week.
The Sandia mountains East of Albuquerque had some beautiful lenticular clouds over them. Nah, who am I kidding? Those are actually UFOs hoovering over there so the occupants could see the show for free.
Note to future attendees: On Saturday of the last weekend of the event the parking lots filled up by about 7am. There were no alternative parking suggestions offered on the radio station I was listening to. However, the Albuquerque city website provides some info about a park and ride program. So plan accordingly.