Cb capillatus

A large cumulonimbus cloud requiring panorama setting to fully photograph. This cloud had developed locally over the northern part of central Malta due to very light winds under a weak high pressure system. As the land warmed up by the overhead sun, a sea breeze from the west had developed and it was counter-acted by the prevailing wind. This is the reason behind the cloud developing more the further right it is seen on the photo producing precipitation (and a thunder clap) and a fibrous streak (capillatus) on the right hand side of the photo. This weather situation is normal in Malta for early Autumn. The first thumbnail shows the weather sounding over the area indicating light winds at most levels of the atmosphere and the second thumbnail shows the instability chart indicating higher CAPE of between 200 – 500 J per kg. The third thumbnail confirms light winds over the Central Mediterranean and a very light prevailing ENE wind over the Maltese Islands due to widely-spaced isobars as shown in the fourth thumbnail which seems to favour the formation of isolated landmass thunderstorms over the Mediterranean land areas (such isolated thunderstorm clouds also form during peak Summer in large land areas such as Sicily). The final thumbnail shows the very localized nature of the rain produced by this cloud which was torrential over a very small area. The very last thumbnail is another view of the same cloud taken in one photo using a digital camera.

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