Sc stratiformis radiatus

Widespread stratocumulus clouds at sunset showing broad and nearly parallel bands that due to perspective, these clouds appear to converge towards the horizon. The photographed cloud formation is very similar to another cloud type called cumulus mediocris radiatus. The difference between the photographed cloud and the cumulus version is that unlike a cumulus cloud, it is actually a whole cloud organized in a file and hence individual cells could not be distinguished. A further confirmation is provided by the weather sounding in the first thumbnail that depicts a very steep lapse rate at the surface being capped by an inversion at about an altitude of 3km which normally favours stratocumulus cloud formation as convection from the surface is halted. Despite looking very dark, such clouds normally only produce light rain which in this case produced a light drizzle and were only about 230 metres thick forming at a height of between 5800 feet and 6600 feet. The second and third thumbnails show that these clouds were intitated by a steep lapse rate because of the presence of a cold airmass over the Western and Central Mediterranean with a 0C line at 850mb height being contrasted by a warm SST of around 19C and then the rising air bubble being capped by a stable upper atmosphere.

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