Check out this absolutely EXTRAORDINARY time-lapse of Asperatus clouds taken in Lincoln NE, on July 7 2014 by storm-chaser Alex Schueth.
Asperatus clouds are so rare they managed to escape classification until 2009. Ominous and stormy as they appear, these clouds often break up rather quickly, without producing a storm. As with most other undulating cloud types, these clouds are formed when turbulent winds or colliding air masses whip up the bottoms of the cloud layer into fancy shapes and formations. More common in the plains of the United States (try Iowa), asperatus clouds are at their weird and swirly best during the morning or midday hours after a thunderstorm.
More Information on Clouds
What Are Clouds
A cloud is made of water drops or ice crystals floating in the sky. There are many kinds of clouds. Clouds are an important part of Earth’s weather.
How Do Clouds Form?
The sky can be full of water. But most of the time you can’t see the water. The drops of water are too small to see. They have turned into a gas called water vapor. As the water vapor goes higher in the sky, the air gets cooler. The cooler air causes the water droplets to start to stick to things like bits of dust, ice or sea salt.
What Are Some Types of Clouds?
Clouds get their names in two ways. One way is by where they are found in the sky. Some clouds are high up in the sky. Low clouds form closer to Earth’s surface. In fact, low clouds can even touch the ground. These clouds are called fog. Middle clouds are found between low and high clouds.
Another way clouds are named is by their shape. Cirrus clouds are high clouds. They look like feathers. Cumulus clouds are middle clouds. These clouds look like giant cotton balls in the sky. Stratus clouds are low clouds. They cover the sky like bed sheets.
What Causes Rain?
Most of the water in clouds is in very small droplets. The droplets are so light they float in the air. Sometimes those droplets join with other droplets. Then they turn into larger drops. When that happens, gravity causes them to fall to Earth. We call the falling water drops “rain.” When the air is colder, the water may form snowflakes instead. Freezing rain, sleet or even hail can fall from clouds.
For more information on cloud types check out Cloud Science here