Ci spissatus

A panoramic photo of thick cirrus clouds with the grey shading clearly giving the cloud away as ‘spissatus’. It was so widespread that it was not possible to capture the photo in a normal camera without panoramic features as proved in the second thumbnail showing a mostly featureless photo when in fact many features could be observed in this photo. First of all notice the cumuliform tufts on the right hand side of the photo on the cirrus clouds.

Secondly, notice how these clouds seem to be in a parallel line, if it was a lower cloud genera, the species ‘undulatus’ would have been suffixed to it. The parallel features seemed to have occured due to lots of upper-level wind shear whereby the SW wind blowing at 72kmh at an altitude of 7.2 km increased sharply to 157 kmh at the jet stream altitude of 10.3km leading to turbulence and rolling (pretty much like sea waves) of the thick high level clouds which according to the weather sounding on the third thumbnail were formed at altitudes of between 6.3km and 9.7km (hence possibly being 3.4km thick) and maybe even having a lower base than indicated. The day’s high clouds formed due to an upper-level trough over southern Tunisia as indicated in the fourth thumbnail and compared against the visible satellite image on the fifth thumbnail that relate the clouds with the mentioned upper-level trough. Such clouds are usually the remnants of former cumulonimbus clouds. However, there was no evidence of lightning strikes over the area. The first thumbnail shows cirrus spissatus clouds taken earlier in the morning.

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