Sc stratiformis

Formation of sea-effect stratocumulus clouds due to a cold airmass flowing over the much warmer Central Mediterranean waters via a very strong high pressure system in the UK as depicted by both the satellite imagery and the surface pressure chart on the third and fourth thumbnails respectively hence creating huge thermal instability. The brightly shining virga of the photographed cloud composed of rain and graupel is the most pronounced feature and this was created by precipitation subliming back to vapour before reaching the ground as the airmass being of continental origins was very dry. The setting sun on the opposite side created a beautiful display of this virga giving it the yellow appearance. The first thumbnail is another photo taken on the following day (same weather situation) of the virga phenomena underneath widespread cumulus clouds making the base look very fuzzy. The second thumbnail is the weather sounding showing a flow of very cold air and low-level instability which was however capped by an inversion layer at an altitude of 3.5km.

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