New cloud category looks like something from science fiction | Inquirer Technology

New cloud category looks like something from science fiction

/ 02:44 PM March 27, 2017
Undulatus Asperitus

Image: YouTube/Alex Schueth

It’s not often that a new cloud category is added to the International Cloud Atlas. However, one was just added recently and “ominous” would be one word to describe how it looks like.

The new cloud is called “Undulatus Asperitas.” Its journey for recognition was a long-time mission of The Cloud Appreciation Society founder Gavin Pretor-Pinney, reports The Verge.


Undulatus Asperitas was officially recognized on World Meteorological Day, nine years after it was submitted as a new classification. It was initially proposed by Pinney as “Undulatus Asperatus.”

Gary McArthur, Location- Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

Image: Gary McArthur, Location- Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

Louisa Price, Location- Colchester, Essex, UK

Image: Louisa Price, Location- Colchester, Essex, UK

The cloud formations are described by Pretor-Prinney as, “…localized waves in the cloud base, either smooth or dappled with smaller features, sometimes descending into sharp points, as if viewing a roughened sea surface from below. Varying levels of illumination and thickness of cloud can lead to dramatic visual effects.”


For an onlooker, it may seem like a great disaster is about to befall the earth or perhaps an alien mothership is about to make a landing. Fortunately, it’s just one of the many wondrous beauties found in nature. Alfred Bayle/JB


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TOPICS: clouds, meteorology, new cloud category, The Cloud Appreciation Society, Undulatus Asperitus, weird clouds, World Meteorological Day
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