Sunday, 13 January 2008



Enjoying Mother Nature’s creation is one of the most practical things to do during anytime of the day to relax the mind from all the daily stresses. Have you thought about watching the clouds and trying to identify what type they are?

Basically, there are 5 components of clouds. They are Altum (height), Stratus (layered), Cirrus (hair lock like), Cumulus (heaped), and Nimbus (precipitation bearing). There are also a few combination of clouds formation such as Altocumulus (altum & cumulus), Altostratus (altum & stratus), Cirrocumulus (cirrus & cumulus), Cirrostratus (cirrus & stratus) and Cumulonimbus (cumulus & nimbus).

One of the rare clouds that you can watch out for is the Mammatus cloud. Sometimes, it is called Mamma or Mammatoculmulus which means breast cloud. This is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. Mammatus are most often associated with the anvil cloud that extends from a cumulonimbus, but may also be found under altocumulus, altostratus, stratocumulus, and cirrus clouds, as well as contrails and volcanic ash clouds.

There are only a few sighting of these clouds around the globe in the last few decades, namely in USA (San Francisco, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Nebraska), Iraq and Italy (Milan). These rare and beautiful clouds do not precede a tornado, or foretell a storm, but are formed when the air is already saturated with rain droplets and/or ice crystals and begins to sink. The worst of the storm is usually over when these kinds of clouds are seen. Here are some of the wonderful shots taken by Jorn Olsen in Hasting, Nebraska.


1 comment:

Bell said...

Wow!!! What lovely clouds!!! I've never been much of a cloud watcher... but I might keep an eye out next time!

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