Amy-O-Meter Blog: Discovering a New Cloud

(WDEF)  If you’re like me, you don’t let age get in the way of how you’re "supposed" to act.  Yes, I am a full grown adult who still plays the cloud game.  I see no problem with pretending to be mature while still pointing out the fire-breathing dragon or happy sea turtle in the sky…
        But for some sky-watchers, this endless wonder paid off with the discovery of a new cloud variety.
        You may have seen the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley report Tuesday night on the undulatus asperatus, or agitated wave clouds. says the interest in the new cloud variety started in 2006 when a picture taken by a woman in Cedar Rapids, Iowa went viral.  The photo caused enough interest that a British student completed his doctoral dissertation on the undulatus asperatus.  He noted the clouds form similarly to the mammatus cloud (that we typically see with severe weather situations– the clouds that look like big, angry cotton balls hanging down from the anvil of a thunderhead.)  But that in the case of the undulatus asperatus, cloud-level winds shear the would-be cotton balls into wave forms.
        Unlike mammatus clouds, however, said the undulatus asperatus tend to form following convective weather activity.
        In the US, it appears the undulatus asperatus are most often in the plains states in the midwest.  Pictures of undulatus asperatus have also been taken overseas, including in Norway and Scotland.  In all cases, the clouds make the sky look like the sea on a rough, choppy day.  The Cloud Appreciation Society proposed the name undulatus asperatus because asperatus comes from the Latin verb ‘aspero’, meaning to make rough. The Cloud Appreciation Society said the term was used by Roman poets to describe the sea as it was roughened by the cold north wind.
        I’ve attached a few pictures of the undulatus asperatus so you can appreciate Mother Nature’s beauty in all forms.  Remember that the next time you find yourself day-dreaming and staring off into the clouds!
Categories: Local News

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