Sc floccus

These clouds have been classified as stratocumulus because the individualized cloud elements typical of the species ‘floccus’ are too large to be altocumulus and the weather sounding on the third thumbnail showed low-level cloud formation at altitudes of between 0.5km and 1.6km as ‘cumulus’ along with an unstable airmass. In the background on the right-hand side, the species ‘castellanus’ of the same cloud could be observed approaching the area from the NE which were identified as such due to cumuliform turrents rising from a common base which become ‘floccus’ when the cloud base dissipates. However, the background clouds could also be cumulus mediocris as they were somewhat obscured by the described clouds in the foreground. The first thumbnail is a closer look of the same clouds against background trees for further features illustration.

The photographed clouds were formed exactly during the initiation of a white bora wind as evident by the surface wind field on the fourth thumbnail meeting the Mistral wind. The white bora (anticyclonic) wind flowing down from the Balkans was the result of an unseasonably strong anticyclone over the UK contrasting with a broad lower pressure in the Mediterranean as per surface pressure chart on the sixth thumbnail. Despite of such clouds, thunderstorms did not occur over the Maltese landmass but developed at the leading edge of the white bora wind on the western side in the afternoon as per satellite image in the fifth thumbnail. The second thumbnail is cumulus fractus clouds at very low-levels due to the initiation of the bora’s cooling process over a still warm land and sea under weather conditions that were becoming drier and stable.

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