Undulatus Asperatus Clouds

SUBHEAD: Undulatus Asperatus sitings are striking visual reminders that the atmosphere is an ocean of gas.

By Dvid Pescovitz on 8 June 2017 for Boing Boing  -

Image above: Photo taken by Mike Olbinski of undulatus asperatus clouds that is in each of the videos below. Click to embiggen.

A few days ago in North Dakota, storm chaser Mike Olbinski made this absolutely incredible time-lapse video of undulatus asperatus clouds. This class of cloud is the first cloud category added to the International Cloud Atlas since 1951. Olbinski writes:
We were chasing northeast of Bismarck, North Dakota and as storms were dying out, we decided to go for a lone cell on the backside of a line of storms. We knew it had a hail core on it and we were hoping that we might get some nice sunset color at least on the storm as it moved past us, and hopefully some lightning bolts.

But we had no idea what we were about to encounter. The clouds were taking on a very different, curvy, wave-like appearance and suddenly we knew what we were seeing.

Undulatus asperatus clouds are a rare phenomenon and actually the newest named cloud type in over 60 years. I've seen tons of photos of them, but never anything like what we witnessed last night. We had a storm with hail in front of us and flashing lightning which was fantastic.

But then we had this layer of undulatus clouds flowing across our view. Watching them was amazing already, but then the sun slowly appeared from behind some clouds to the west and lit up our storm like nothing we've ever seen before. We were like kids in a candy store. Running around, doing our best to capture it from every possible angle.

Image above: Film by Mike Ulmbinski of Undulatus Asperatus cloudsFrom (https://youtu.be/rq3lqckbt_E).

Image above: Video of still images of Undulatus Asperatus clouds posted on 6 July 2017. From (https://youtu.be/LS3jug-Dx-0).

Undulatus Asperatus sitings are strikingly visual reminders that the atmosphere is an ocean of gas, complete with cloud waves crashing high above. They occur when enough atmospheric instability, or rising air, is available to create widespread cloud cover, as well as wind shear and turbulence, which creates the wavy, rough sea-like visual effect.

Undulatus Asperatus is a cloud formation, proposed in 2009 as a separate cloud classification by the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. If successful it will be the first cloud formation added since cirrus intortus in 1951 to the International Cloud Atlas of the World Meteorological Organization. The name translates approximately as "roughened or agitated waves".

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