CRAZY CLOUDS: The newly discovered Undulatus Asperatus!
Last week, several viewers submitted photos to the WDRB Weather Facebook Page of a strange and fascinating cloud feature the appeared across the area.
Now known as Undulatus Asperatus, until recently, this cloud was largely undocumented.
These clouds are characterized by turbulent, but soft undulating wave motions. It kind of looks like the surface of the ocean, only looking at it from below.
First photographed at Cedar Rapids in Iowa, U.S. in 2006, undulatus asperatus has since been spotted in many parts of the world including right here in Kentuckiana.
In fact the cloud has been documented enough that the Cloud Appreciation Society (CAS) has submitted it to the Royal Meteorological Society for consideration for the next edition of the International Cloud Atlas.
If the new formation is accepted, it will be the first new entry to the atlas since 1951, and one of the more exciting ones, because not only do undulatus asperatus make the sky look like aliens are coming, but they’d also be the first classification discovered through crowd sourcing—average people taking pictures of new clouds and lobbying to have them recognized.
According to Wikipedia:
Undulatus asperatus (or alternately, asperatus) is a cloud formation, proposed in 2009 as a separate cloud classification by the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. The name translates approximately as roughened or agitated waves.
The clouds are most closely related to undulatus clouds. Although they appear dark and storm-like, they tend to dissipate without a storm forming. The ominous-looking clouds have been particularly common in the Plains states of the United States, often during the morning or midday hours following convective thunderstorm activity.
As of June 2009, the Royal Meteorological Society is gathering evidence of the type of weather patterns in which undulatus asperatus clouds appear, so as to study how they form and decide whether they are distinct from other undulatus clouds.
Here's a cool time lapse video of the phenomena for your viewing pleasure...
Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell