Clouds are beautiful to look at and can create some breathtaking formations and structures. One of these formations is the asperitas cloud.
Asperitas clouds are the most recent addition to the group of cloud formations. When it comes to identifying them, many compare them to ripples in the sea, and they form beneath the cloud.
If you’re interested in cloud formations then keep reading, as we are going to discuss all you need to know about this fascinating cloud!
What Are Asperitas Clouds?
Asperitas clouds appear beneath the surface of a cloud and usually have a chaotic appearance. They resemble rough ripple-like waves you normally see at sea.
Their name in Latin, ‘aspero’ translates to ‘rough’ or ‘uneven’, and their appearance lends them well to their name.
They are very ominous yet striking in appearance and were only added to the World Meteorological Organization’s International Cloud Index in 2015!
Therefore, asperitas clouds have been the first clouds to have been named in the last 50 years.
These clouds are also pretty rare, and sometimes create a little bit of a media storm when they appear, so if you ever spot them, be sure to take plenty of pictures!
How Are These Clouds Formed?
When asperitas clouds appear, they are normally seen among altocumulus and stratocumulus clouds.
Altocumulus clouds are middle-altitude clouds that appear in the shape of rounded clumps that are referred to as cloudlets.
They are normally white or gray with some shading and normally appear throughout settled weather.
Stratocumulus clouds are very similar to altocumulus clouds, but they are closer to the ground. “Alto” in Spanish, means tall, so that is a good way to differentiate them both.
These clouds come in a variety of formations and have a variety of different looks. They can appear during both calm and stormy weather.
When And Where Can You Locate These Clouds?
Asperitas clouds can be seen in the Great Plains of the United States. These are areas such as Montana, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Texas.
They are likely to be seen here as these areas commonly experience thunderstorms and asperitas clouds are often formed before, during, or after these storms. Similar to how mammatus clouds often form with thunderstorm anvil clouds.
They can also sometimes be seen in the United Kingdom after a thunderstorm, but they tend to disappear rather quickly, so you’ll need to be quick with your camera skills if you’d like a snapshot of them!
To conclude, asperitas clouds are the most recent addition to the list of clouds, only being added in 2015, a whole 50 years after the last addition!
They are very interesting and spectacular to look at, as they resemble big, wave-like ripples in the ocean.
There is still speculation over how they are formed, it is believed that they form from altocumulus clouds, and stratocumulus clouds, and appear shortly after thunderstorms.
While they are found in the great plains of the United States, they are hard to spot as they disappear quickly!
We hope this article has provided you with a good amount of information on asperitas clouds, so the next time you see them form, you can try and snap a picture.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Exactly Are Clouds?
Clouds are masses of water drops or crystals of ice that are suspended in the atmosphere.
They form when water condenses in the sky, and it is this condensation that allows us to physically see the water vapor.
What Are The Prettiest Clouds?
There are several different types of clouds, and each will take on a variety of different forms.
The prettiest clouds are often thought to be the Nacreous or mother-pearl clouds. These are commonly found in County Antrim in Northern Ireland.
These clouds have some gorgeous colors, which is what makes them known as some of the prettiest clouds. They form at altitudes of around 10 to 25 kilometers, at the level of the ozone layer.
Another interesting cloud-like structure worth mentioning is a sub-sun in diamond dust.
These formations really are a spectacle, as they are a reflection of the sun that has been formed from ice-crystal fog. This fog is known as diamond dust.
It looks like a twinkling formation of many little crystals suspended in the air, and they appear in extremely cold and calm conditions, in temperatures of around -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
They form when water vapor in the air freezes, creating a little confetti of ice. A common area where they can be found is over the Walnut Canyon in Arizona.
What Is The Most Common Type Of Cloud?
The most common type of cloud is thought to be the stratocumulus stratiformis. This type of cloud is found all over the world and is flat in shape with several different cracks in between them.
These will form in all kinds of weather conditions, and they are very easy to spot.