8 Mysterious Types Of Clouds.To Be On The Lookout For…
1. Mammatus Cloud
Mammatus is a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud, typically a cumulonimbus raincloud, although they may be attached to other classes of parent clouds. The name mammatus is derived from the Latin mamma (meaning “udder” or “breast”).
According to the WMO International Cloud Atlas, mamma is a cloud supplementary feature rather than a genus, species or variety of cloud. The distinct “lumpy” undersides are formed by cold air sinking down to form the pockets contrary to the puffs of clouds rising through the convection of warm air.
2. Kelvin Cloud
The Kelvin–Helmholtz instability (after Lord Kelvin and Hermann von Helmholtz) typically occurs when there is velocity shear in a single continuous fluid, or additionally where there is a velocity difference across the interface between two fluids. A common example is seen with wind blowing over water, the instability constant is able to manifest itself through waves on a water surface. The Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is not only restricted to a water surface as clouds, but is evident through other natural phenomena as the ocean, Saturn’s bands, Jupiter’s Red Spot, and the sun’s corona.
3. Roll Cloud
A roll cloud (Cloud Atlas name volutus) is a low, horizontal, tube-shaped, and relatively rare type of arcus cloud. They differ from shelf clouds by being completely detached from other cloud features. Roll clouds usually appear to be “rolling” about a horizontal axis. They are a solitary wave called a soliton, which is a wave that has a single crest and moves without changing speed or shape. One of the most famous frequent occurrences is the Morning Glory cloud in Queensland, Australia, which can occur up to four out of ten days in October. One of the main causes of the Morning Glory cloud is the mesoscale circulation associated with sea breezes that develop over the Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf of Carpentaria. However, similar features can be created by downdrafts from thunderstorms and are not exclusively associated with coastal regions.
4. Hole Punch Cloud
A fallstreak hole (also known as a cavum, hole punch cloud, punch hole cloud, skypunch, cloud canal or cloud hole) is a large gap, usually circular or elliptical, that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds. Such holes are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing, but the water, in a supercooled state, has not frozen yet due to the lack of ice nucleation. When ice crystals do form, a domino effect is set off due to the Bergeron process, causing the water droplets around the crystals to evaporate: this leaves a large, often circular, hole in the cloud.
5. Lenticular Clouds
Lenticular clouds (Latin: Lenticularis lentil-shaped, from lenticula lentil) are stationary clouds that form mostly in the troposphere, typically in perpendicular alignment to the wind direction. They are often comparable in appearance to a lens or saucer. Nacreous clouds that form in the lower stratosphere sometimes have lenticular shapes.
6. Mushroom Cloud
A mushroom cloud is a distinctive mushroom-shaped flammagenitus cloud of debris, smoke and usually condensed water vapor resulting from a large explosion. The effect is most commonly associated with a nuclear explosion, but any sufficiently energetic detonation or deflagration will produce the same effect. They can be caused by powerful conventional weapons, like thermobaric weapons, including the ATBIP and GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast. Some volcanic eruptions and impact events can produce natural mushroom clouds.
7. Night Shining Cloud
Noctilucent clouds, or night shining clouds, are tenuous cloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere of Earth. They consist of ice crystals and are only visible during astronomical twilight. Noctilucent roughly means “night shining” in Latin. They are most often observed during the summer months from latitudes between ±50° and ±70°. They are visible only during local summer months and when the Sun is below the observer’s horizon, but while these very high clouds are still in sunlight. Recent studies suggest that increased atmospheric methane emissions produce additional water vapor once the methane molecules reach the mesosphere – creating, or reinforcing existing noctilucent clouds.
8. Shelf Cloud
A shelf cloud is a low, horizontal, wedge-shaped arcus cloud. A shelf cloud is attached to the base of the parent cloud, which is usually a thunderstorm cumulonimbus, but could form on any type of convective clouds. Rising cloud motion can often be seen in the leading (outer) part of the shelf cloud, while the underside often appears turbulent and wind-torn. Cool, sinking air from a storm cloud’s downdraft spreads out across the land surface, with the leading edge called a gust front. This outflow cuts under warm air being drawn into the storm’s updraft. As the lower and cooler air lifts the warm moist air, its water condenses, creating a cloud which often rolls with the different winds above and below.