The 10 rarest clouds

Anyone seen any of these?

Clouds fill the skies above us and are part of our every day lives, often going unnoticed. However, there are some clouds that are so rare that you will be very lucky to see them in your lifetime. This is a list of the top 10 most rarest cloud formations (in no particular order) that for those lucky enough to see them, were caught on camera.

21 Comments

Original Poster

1. Nacreous Clouds

http://bp2.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDn1Ml8DvI/AAAAAAAAAtY/c-XL9B5DZS4/s400/nacreous.png

These rare clouds, sometimes called mother-of-pearl clouds, are 15 - 25km (9 -16 miles) high in the stratosphere and well above tropospheric clouds. They have iridescent colours but are higher and much rarer than ordinary iridescent clouds. They are seen mostly but not exclusively in polar regions and in winter at high latitudes, Scandinavia, Alaska, Northern Canada. Lower level iridescent clouds can be seen anywhere.

http://bp3.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDuvldrB3I/AAAAAAAAAvo/OALIfdj_RAk/s400/nacreous1.jpg

Original Poster

2. Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus are pouch-like cloud structures and a rare example of clouds in sinking air.

http://bp2.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDvkLLwN6I/AAAAAAAAAwQ/d_PxXocxl8g/s400/mammatus.jpg

Sometimes very ominous in appearance, mammatus clouds are harmless and do not mean that a tornado is about to form - a commonly held misconception. In fact, mammatus are usually seen after the worst of a thunderstorm has passed.

http://bp1.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDvPQ02FSI/AAAAAAAAAwI/I_kru_B5K4k/s400/Mammatus2.jpg

Original Poster

3. Altocumulus Castelanus

Also known as jellyfish clouds due to their jellyfish-like appearance.

http://bp2.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDnrX-7eOI/AAAAAAAAAtQ/llZ0pTL4eTU/s400/Altocumulus_Castelanus.jpg

These formed around 17,000 ft due to when the rush of moist air comes from the Gulf Stream and gets trapped between layers of dry air. The top of the cloud rises into a jellyfish shape and long tentacles known as “trailing virga” form from rain drops that have evaporated.

Original Poster

4. Noctilucent Clouds

Noctilucent Clouds or Polar Mesopheric Clouds: This is an extroadinarily rare cloud formation that occurs out on the verge of space between 82km to 102 km from the earth’s surface.

http://bp3.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDoBhUnPoI/AAAAAAAAAto/fpVi9Ry5eN4/s400/Noctilucent_Clouds.jpg

Noctilucent clouds appear to be luminous yet they reflect the sunlight from the other side of the earth at night, giving them a glowing appearance

wow those pics are amazing! im sure we had something similar to Mammatus Clouds the other day, the colour behind them was just out of this world!

Original Poster

5. Mushroom Clouds

A mushroom cloud is a distinctive mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke, condensed water vapor, or debris resulting from a very large explosion. They are most commonly associated with nuclear explosions, but any sufficiently large blast will produce the same sort of effect.

http://bp1.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDoJpXpEoI/AAAAAAAAAtw/8BzqBRyjW5Q/s400/Mushroom_Cloud.jpg

Volcano eruptions and impact events can produce natural mushroom clouds.

Mushroom clouds form as a result of the sudden formation of a large mass of hot low-density gases near the ground creating a Rayleigh-Taylor instability. The mass of gas rises rapidly, resulting in turbulent vortices curling downward around its edges and drawing up a column of additional smoke and debris in the centre to form its “stem”. The mass of gas eventually reaches an altitude where it is no longer less dense than the surrounding air and disperses, the debris drawn upward from the ground scattering and drifting back down.

Original Poster

6. Cirrus Kelvin-Helmholtz

Appearing as a slender, horizontal spiral of cloud, cirrus Kelvin-Helmholtz is one of the most distinctive cloud formations. However, it tends to dissipate only a minute or two after forming and, as a result, is rarely observed.

http://bp3.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDoQuOvdmI/AAAAAAAAAt4/EL18khHLBmg/s400/Cirrus_Kelvin_Helmholtz.jpg

Average height is around 16,500 ft.

Original Poster

7. Lenticular Clouds

Lenticular clouds, technically known as altocumulus standing lenticularis, are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes, normally aligned at right-angles to the wind direction.

http://bp1.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDoZMfv79I/AAAAAAAAAuA/cvB0VMFEUJY/s400/lenticular.jpg

Where stable moist air flows over a mountain or a range of mountains, a series of large-scale standing waves may form on the downwind side. Lenticular clouds sometimes form at the crests of these waves. Under certain conditions, long strings of lenticular clouds can form, creating a formation known as a wave cloud.

Original Poster

8. Roll Clouds

A roll cloud is a low, horizontal tube-shaped arcus cloud associated with a thunderstorm gust front, or sometimes a cold front. Roll clouds can also be a sign of possible microburst activity.

http://bp1.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDogc2GnuI/AAAAAAAAAuI/ot6jcfYL3Mc/s400/roll_cloud.jpg

Cool air sinking air from a storm cloud’s downdraft spreads out across the surface with the leading edge called a gust front. This outflow undercuts warm air being drawn into the storm’s updraft. As the cool air lifts the warm moist air water condenses creating cloud, which often rolls with the different winds above and below (wind shear).

http://bp3.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDrfAIhOCI/AAAAAAAAAuo/A__EW-j1kd8/s400/roll_cloud2.jpg

http://bp2.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDrfJIsr5I/AAAAAAAAAug/L5N6a_vqeos/s400/roll_cloud1.jpg

Original Poster

9. Shelf Clouds

A shelf cloud is a low, horizontal wedge-shaped arcus cloud, associated with a thunderstorm gust front (or occasionally with a cold front, even in the absence of thunderstorms).

http://bp1.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDuL3A0WbI/AAAAAAAAAvg/1WiClfolzS0/s400/shelf_cloud4.jpg

Unlike a roll cloud, a shelf cloud is attached to the base of the parent cloud above it (usually a thunderstorm).

http://bp0.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDuLhhQECI/AAAAAAAAAvI/UqET_kxM2dc/s400/shelf_cloud1.jpg

http://bp3.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDuLyw2szI/AAAAAAAAAvY/B1XR35VwLBE/s400/shelf_cloud3.jpg

Rising cloud motion often can be seen in the leading (outer) part of the shelf cloud, while the underside often appears turbulent, boiling, and wind-torn.

Original Poster

10. Stratocumulus Clouds

According to the Sapporo Meteorological Observatory, these low-altitude stratocumulus clouds were rolled into long, distinctive ribbons after becoming trapped in air currents.

http://bp0.blogger.com/_gTJMEP-c2fo/SGDor2jzZeI/AAAAAAAAAuY/_bcb3JbHsNs/s400/Stratocumulus_Cloud.jpg

While it is not uncommon for wind to form such patterns in stratocumulus clouds, photos that clearly show the clouds rolled into strips are rare, says the observatory.

Original Poster

That's all folks! Phew!

SunTzu;2491189

That's all folks! Phew!



They're something special, aren't they? Good work :thumbsup:

Here are the clouds above my street from a few weeks ago - I thought they look pretty, but nothing in comparison...

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc320/hodsey77/DSC00095.jpg

awesome looking clouds

Original Poster

hodsey77;2491221

They're something special, aren't they? Good work :thumbsup:Here are the … They're something special, aren't they? Good work :thumbsup:Here are the clouds above my street from a few weeks ago - I thought they look pretty, but nothing in comparison...



They're pretty awesome too! I love sunsets with clouds :-D

I took this on Sunday night when we had a storm! was quite scary for a while! there are a couple of lightning pics as well
]http//ww…95/

I do not know how to put pics on here! Sorry!

Supermod

...and there was me just thinking a cloud was just a cloud.

Have seen a roll cloud but none of the others. They are fantastic.

Fab piccys SunTzu

i never thought clouds could be so unboring

i love clouds, could look at them all day!!
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