Cu congestus

Formation of cumulus congestus clouds on land over the Western side of the Maltese Islands as depicted by a close-up of the visible satellite image of the Islands in the second thumbnail. Though such clouds are very common, the formation mechanism behind them was somewhat rare for late January as from a prevailing light easterly current due to an extensive Azores anticyclone as shown by the surface pressure chart on the third thumbnail, the sun managed to heat the ground sufficiently for the photographed clouds to bubble up, more synoynm with the warmer months such as the period known as “L-gherejjex ta’ Santa Marija”. The weather sounding on the first thumbnail showed a steep lapse rate in the lower levels of the atmosphere but with lower moisture allowing sufficient clear skies for the sun to heat the ground hence favouring cumulus clouds over stratocumulus which evaporated quicker.

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