Cu congestus

Formation of cumulus congestus radiatus pileus cloud following the arrival of a cold pool of air in the upper atmosphere in association with an upper-level trough as shown in the second thumbnail. This trough had crossed the Maltese Islands very quickly hence the cumuliform clouds that formed locally in combination with late Winter solar heating did not have time to become cumulonimbus clouds. In fact, only isolated showers were produced by the photographed cloud. The enlongated tube of the cumuliform cloud formation hence of the ‘radiatus’ variety indicated a common instability mechanism. Even in this tube, the cumulus clouds were in various development stages creating various congestus feautures. An interesting feauture is the congested lump of cloud to the left seemingly wearing a cap. This indicated the most rapidly rising bubble of the cloud pushing the air above it upwards to create the hood-like feauture above it which then very quickly disappeared. The first thumbnail is a single shot of a part of the cloud taken only around a minute before the panorama. When comparing against the two, kindly appreciate how cumulus clouds are quickly able to change shape in response to their environment as they either they continue to grow upwards rapidly, spread out to become another cloud species or loose buoyancy leading to the cloud’s dissipation.

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