Ci uncinus

Formation of cirrus uncinus clouds recognized by their lack of shading, hence an all white cloud and the comma-shaped hook at the end of the photographed cirrus which is not round. The sun was hidden from view by the Stock Exchange building in order to photograph the cloud properly. The second thumbnail is the weather sounding showing that the cloud was entirely composed of ice crystals and formed at any altitude between 7km and 8.9km where wind shear and instability were present hence the mares tails lifting and going in a different direction as the SW increased at high altitudes. Such clouds normally form in a warm front. However, according to the surface pressure chart on the third thumbnail, an occluded front was passing over the Maltese Islands following the passage of cold front, perhaps a sign that it was warm occluded hence behaving similar to a warm front. The visible satellite image on the fourth thumbnail indicated the cloud structure of this low pressure system over Northern Italy and this cloud formation might as well have been the final clouds of the cold front. The first thumbnail is a photo taken earlier on the day showing thick cirrus spissatus clouds as well as cumulus clouds indicating an unstable airmass. The following day weak thunderstorms with hail affected our Islands as the swirl of clouds between Sicily and Tunisia moved eastwards towards the Malta Channel during the night.

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