NASA’s Earth-watching Terra satellite tv for pc peered down from area on Might 28 and caught sight of one thing uncommon floating over the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest inland physique of water. A wild cloud appeared, and it regarded like an artist had a hand in its design.
The NASA Earth Observatory group shared the cloud as an Picture of the Day on Thursday, calling it “extra peculiar than most” and saying it had “well-defined edges resembling one thing from a cartoon.” The cloud stretched throughout about 60 miles (100 kilometers) at an altitude of round 5,000 ft (1,500 meters).
Atmospheric scientist Bastiaan van Diedenhoven on the SRON Netherlands Institute for Area Analysis took a have a look at the goofy cloud and decided it was a small stratocumulus, a kind of hybrid between a puffy, fluffy cumulus cloud and a spread-out stratus cloud.
In line with van Diedenhoven, the formation’s sharp, cartoonlike edges may’ve come from the way it shaped when heat, dry air from land bumped into chilly, moist air over the ocean. The scientist mentioned the identical phenomenon has been noticed off the west coast of Africa at a lot bigger scales.
The cloud floated from its early morning perch above the Caspian over to land, the place it dissipated.
This cloud jogged my memory of my childhood surprise over the climate and the way I attempted to study the names of clouds after which spot them within the sky. Cumulus, cirrus, stratus and nimbus caught with me over time, and now I can deliver stratocumulus again into my vocabulary.