Travel: Watch out for these 'UFOs'
12 new kinds of clouds have been identified. Here are our top picks to spot the next time you travel
Late last week, there was good news for those who spend more time gazing at the skies than at the work at hand. The World Meteorological Organisation, published the 2017 International Cloud Atlas, recognizing 12 new types of cloud and cloud features. Now, whether these clouds will be seen in India is a point that's debated. A response from WOM stated, "These new types, or at least most of them, are not region specific. In the Atlas, we already have images of volutus taken in USA, Europe, Australia, and images of asperitas also from Africa.
The same is true for fluctus, cavum, - genitus and - mutatus. Murus and cauda are more restricted to areas with strong convection where Cb and tornado can form." Krunoslav Premec, scientific officer, added, "I assume that many of these new types might be also found in India, but I am really not familiar with their cloud climatology, therefore I can't provide more precise answer." But, hey, that shouldn't stop us from searching the skies for something new, either here or while on vacation. Here are some of the newly classified entries to keep your eyes peeled for:
Now, this one has caught the fancy of many. Asperitas is characterised by localised waves in the cloud base, either smooth or dappled with smaller features, sometimes descending into sharp points, as if viewing a roughened sea surface from below. It's more chaotic with less horizontal organization.
Location: Shorewell Park, Australia
Aircraft condensation trails that have persisted for at least 10 minutes will be given the name of the genus, Cirrus, followed only by the special cloud name homogenitus. As new aircraft trails may undergo a rapid state of change transient shapes, no species will be applied to the name.
Location: Wokingham, England
Clouds may develop locally over forests as a result of increased humidity due to evaporation. These special clouds will be given the name of the appropriate genus, followed by any appropriate species, variety and supplementary feature, and followed by the special cloud name silvagenitus.
Location: Raten (Oberaegeri), Switzerland
These clouds may develop as a consequence of convection initiated by heat from forest fires or volcanic eruption. Clouds that are clearly observed to have originated as a consequence of localized natural heat sources consist of water drops, will be given the name relevant to the genus followed, if appropriate, by the species, variety and any supplementary features, and finally by the special cloud name "flammagenitus", (for example, Cumulus congestus flammagenitus).
Location: Serra de Alvorge, Portugal
A long, typically low, horizontal, detached, tube-shaped cloud mass, often appearing to roll slowly about a horizontal axis. The roll cloud, volutus, is not attached to other clouds and is an example of an undular bore i.e. a wave disturbance in the Earth's atmosphere.
Location: Broadmeadows, Australia