A new kind of cloud

August 27, 2010 • 10:53 am

You probably didn’t know that there’s a Cloud Appreciation Society that recognizes new types of clouds.  A new one has recently been named, the first since 1951.  It’s the asperatus cloud (or, formally, Undulatus asperatus—clouds seemed to be named like organisms!), a strange, undulating formation that’s been described as looking like the surface of a rolling sea.  They’re apparently rare, and their formation mysterious.  But they’re gorgeous.  Has anybody seen these?

Check out the Cloud Appreciation Society’s gallery, with about 6500 photos of clouds, classified by type. There’s also a nice section on “clouds that look like things.”

21 thoughts on “A new kind of cloud

  1. The first two of those look like HDR photographs. If so, then it’s possible they’re entirely misleading.

  2. I’ve seen clouds like that over Indianapolis a few times. They were strange looking but I didn’t know that they were uncategorized.

  3. Is it just me that can’t get to their website? I wonder if Jerry’s link has brought them to their knees. If true, congrats!

    I wonder how these are formed. Like a standing lenticular cloud that is formed from high winds off a mountain. The bottom 2 seem to be mountain related. Curious if there is a mountain in the first one out of frame.

  4. Oh! I used to check that site daily but had forgotten about it…thanks for the reminder. Those photos do look like harbingers of serious weather.

  5. top one: no

    middle: maybe – or perhaps the coloring triggers a memory from my days in the Az dessert.

    bottom: no

    They’re very pretty clouds though. I saw some pretty clouds last week but was too lazy to get my digital camera and take some photos – there were curly filaments going every which way.

  6. I was living in Pasco, WA in 1980 when Mount St Helens erupted. About an hour later, clouds similar to the first photo rolled over town.

    I wonder if airbourne particulates may be involved in the photos shown here.


  7. My Dad took a picture of that cloud formation last Spring before a big storm. I had never seen that formation before!

    He took an amazing picture of those clouds that morning.

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