Sunday, June 24, 2012

17 Captivating Clouds

Natural Science:
"17 Captivating Clouds"

In meteorology, a cloud is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body. [1]

Note: Click on the images to enlarge

How do clouds form? 

Click here [2]
Want to know about the different types of clouds? Click here.

Now, Let's take a look at the different rare captivating cloud formations!

Mammatus Clouds
Source: ZMIE Science

  • The name mammatus, derived from the Latin mamma (meaning "udder" or "breast") refers to a resemblance between the characteristic shape of these clouds and the breast of a           woman. [3]
  • They are often a warning of severe weather. 
  • These curvaceous clouds can extend for hundreds of miles [4]
*Seen on All Time 10's: 10 Strange Natural Phenomena - #7

Cumulonimbus Clouds
  • A towering vertical cloud that is very tall, dense, and involved in thunderstorms and other inclement weather.
  • The name Cumulonimbus originates from the Latin words Cumulus which means "heap" and nimbus which means "cloud".
  • cumulonimbus incus (Latin incus, "anvil") is a cumulonimbus cloud which has reached the level of stratospheric stability and has formed the characteristic flat, anvil-top shape. 
  • They can form into supercells resulting into severe storms like tornadoes.
More at: Wikipedia

Lenticular Clouds
Source: Redditbot
  • Are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudesnormally aligned perpendicular to the wind direction
  • They are usually seen on mountains
  • It has a circular shape and it is said that it can be an explanation for UFO sightings

Iridescent Clouds

Nacreous Clouds
(Nacreous Clouds - Antartica)
  • Also called mother-of-pearl-clouds or polar stratospheric clouds.
  • These are clouds in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 meters (49,000–82,000 ft).


6. Sky Punch / Punch Hole Clouds

 Sky Punch / Punch Hole Clouds

Source: Meteorology News
  • fallstreak hole, also known as a hole punch cloudpunch hole cloudskypunchcanal cloud or cloud hole, is a large circular gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds. [7]
More at: NASA

7. Noctilucent Clouds "Night-shining Clouds"Noctilucent Clouds "Night-shining Clouds"
Source: Eccentric Orbits
  • "Noctilucent clouds are a relatively new phenomenon," says Gary Thomas, a professor at the University of Colorado who studies NLCs. 
  • "They were first seen in 1885" about two years after the powerful eruption of Krakatoa hurled plumes of volcanic ash as much as 80 km high in Earth's atmosphere. [8]

*An arcus cloud is a low, horizontal cloud formation. Roll clouds and shelf clouds are the two types of arcus clouds.

8. Shelf Clouds

Shelf Clouds

Source: Wikipedia - Bidgee
  • shelf cloud is a low, horizontal, wedge-shaped arcus cloud. 
9. Roll Clouds

Roll Clouds

Source: Wikipedia - Daniela
  •  Roll clouds are formed by strong outflow from a thunderstorm forcing surrounding air upwards.

10. Fractus (Scud) Clouds

Fractus (Scud) Clouds

Source: Write Opinions
  • These are small, ragged cloud fragments that are usually found under an ambient cloud base. They form or have broken off from a larger cloud, and are generally sheared by strong winds, giving them a jagged, shredded appearance. Fractus have irregular patterns, appearing much like torn pieces of cotton candy. [9]

Wave Clouds

 12. Morning Glory Clouds

Morning Glory Clouds

Source: Ezine Mark
  • Morning glory clouds are about 100-200 meters high from the air and occur in different locations around the globe.Morning glory clouds can be seen as roll clouds because they can come in rows. [10]


Pyrocumulus cloud
Source: Dipity
  • pyrocumulus, or fire cloud, is a dense cumuliform cloud associated with fire or volcanic activity. [11]

14. Undulatus Asperatus

 Undulatus Asperatus
Source: Wikipedia - Ave

  • The species of this cloud is "undulatus" which means "wave" In Latin. The variety of the cloud is "asperatus" which means "roughened" so the name literally descibes how this cloud looks, like rough waves. [12]

15. Pileus Clouds

Pileus Clouds
(A pileus cloud surrounding the top of the volcano's ash cloud.)
Source: Wikipedia

Pileus Clouds
(Cumulus cloud with pileus cap)

Source:  Wikipedia - Dhaluza
  • , Also called scarf cloud or cap cloud, is a small, horizontal, altostratus cloud that can appear above a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud, giving the parent cloud a characteristic "hoodlike" appearance.

16. Actinoform Clouds

Actinoform Clouds

Source: Wikipedia

Round or oval cloud formation where there appear to be radial symmetry and sometimes even helical motion. These formation, when seen from high above, resemble veins of a leaf. [13]

17. Cloud In a Room by Berndnaut Smilde

Cloud In a Room by Berndnaut Smilde

(Nimbus, 2010)

Cloud In a Room by Berndnaut Smilde

(Nimbus D'Aspremont, 2012)

Cloud In a Room by Berndnaut Smilde
(Nimbus II, 2012)
Source: Berndaut
  • Amsterdam-based artist Berndnaut Smilde originally made the 'Nimbus' cloud installation for Probe back in 2010. 
  • "I wanted to make a very clear image, an almost cliche and cartoon-like visualization of having bad luck, Indeed there's nothing here and bullocks, it's starting to rain!" - Berndaut Smilde
More at: Washington Post

[8] NASA
[12] Squidoo

Checked by: Prof. Crisencio M. Paner


  1. I was doing a research about clouds and i bumped on your blog! It has enough of the information i needed! Thanks

  2. Didn't know there's a lot of things about clouds! Thanks!