Nov
12
2011

Top 10 Amazing, Unique Cloud Formations

The sky without clouds seems like garden without flowers. Its looks so bore with out clouds. Clouds can generally be classified by appearance – nimbus (rain), stratus (layer), cumulus (heap), cirrus (curl), – or by height of cloud base – low level, mid level, high level clouds and clouds with vertical development. Today Top 10 Marvels is going to present the list of amazing, unique, fantastic and marvelous cloud formations…

10. The Kelvin-Helmholtz Wave Cloud



The Kelvin-Helmholtz wave cloud looks like crashing ocean waves. These beautiful clouds are named after German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz and British physicist Lord Kelvin, because they form when two different layers of air are moving past each other at different speeds.

9. Cirrus Radiatus



Cirrus clouds mostly occur in cool and highest region of troposphere and comes with different shapes and sizes. The Cirrus clouds can be of five types spissatus, castellanus, fibratus, uncinus,  floccus and four varieties intortus, vertebratus, duplicatus, radiatus.

8. Shelf Cloud


These amazing shelf clouds are low-level semicircular arcus clouds. Roll clouds and Shelf clouds are two types of arcus clouds. The cloud in the above picture has been captured over Enschede, Netherlands.

7. Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus clouds also known as mammatocumulus and look seriously weird. In Mammutus clouds,  Dan Breed, a scientist of National Center for Atmospheric Research for Wired.com said about them that the evaporation causes pockets of negative buoyancy as it cools the air inside the cloud so this makes the clouds puff downward instead of up like cumulus clouds, and end up being like upside-down bubbles.

6. Morning Glory Clouds



These roll clouds occur in the lower atmospheric layer ahead of a storm front and can most often be observed in Northern Australia. Morning Glory clouds can be seen over Germany, Central US, the English Channel and Eastern Russia.

5. Lenticular Clouds


This amazing, beautiful lens-shaped clouds are usually created by gravity waves. The stationary clouds can be classified into altocumulus standing lenticularis (ACSL), cirrocumulus standing lenticular (CCSL) and stratocumulus standing lenticular (SCSL). The Lenticular clouds are also known as altocumulus lenticularis.

4. Anvil Clouds


The anvil cloud are also famous as cumulonimbus incus, is mostly composed of ice particles. It is a  mature thunderstorm cloud that can cause a super-cell thunderstorm and then a tornado. Cumulonimbus clouds are divided into two species: calvus and capillatus.

3. Noctilucent Clouds


Noctilucent clouds also know as Polar mesospheric clouds or Night Shining Coulds and they can be seen in exclusively polar regions and they also appear over Europe and USA many times. But there is something serious about them that scientist believe that they can cause global warming.

2. Jacques Cousteau Clouds



Nicknamed the Jacques Cousteau clouds, undulatus asperatus  is a cloud formation proposed two years ago as a separate cloud classification by Pretor-Pinney, British cloud enthusiast and founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society.

1. Polar Stratospheric Clouds


Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) form in the stratosphere at altitudes of 50,000–80,000 ft. They are classified into Types I(nacreous or mother-of-pearl clouds), and II (clouds with more diffuse and less bright colors)   according to their formation temperature and particle size. Unfortunately, Polar stratospheric clouds play a key role in the massive ozone depletion over the Arctic and Antarctic.


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About the Author: Kathi Shaw

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