Sc cumulogenitus

Taken at sunset of 8Feb19. The spreading out of the top of a cumulus cloud formed out of rising air bubbles in an unstable airmass upon reaching a stable layer in the atmosphere. The first and second thumbnails are the zoomed in left and right hand sides of the photographed cloud photo respectively in order to better bring out its characteristics. It seems that the cloud contained parts which could fall under lenticularis species and its anvil of the second thumbnail seemed to contain some mammatus. In the foreground, upper-level cirrus fibratus clouds were radiating from the cloud under analysis. The first thumbnail showed lenticular characteristics as the air hit the stable layer though the visible satellite image on the fourth thumbnail indicated that the clouds passing over the Islands did not cross hilly areas. This reminds me of another cloud shot with lenticularis taken here, potentially hinting at very specific meteorological conditions that might enable lenticularis clouds to form in the Maltese Islands on rare occassions. On the other hand, the right side of the main cloud had temporarily stopped growing vertically upon reaching the stable layer creating a cloud anvil from which further growth had resumed in parts of the anvil resulting in cumuliform bubbles seemingly breaking through the stable layer. This anvil might had also feautured some mammatus characteristics as quicker rising air bubbles could have been forced downwards upon hitting the stable layer pretty much like hitting a ball against the wall.

The weather sounding on the third thumbnail reliably indicated that the photographed cloud was most probably around 620 metres high, definitely not enabling cumulonimbus clouds to form and with lots of wind shear in part of the cloud potentially explaining what looked like lenticularis feature. Air thermals, generators of instability were indicated by the sounding and combined with the satellite imagery, there might have been the presence of an unstable airmass around the Central Mediterranean or a very weak low pressure circulation that was not picked up by weather charts and which would explaining the cloud formation perfectly. Some isolated and widely seperated showers were occurring at the time.

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