Beware of the Cumulonimbus capillatus



  • As the last low-level cloud species will be Cumulonimbus capillatus (Cb cap), which is a really huge storm cloud. It is still counted as a low-level cloud because its base is usually below 2 km hight, but its top can reach the tropopause, which is about 10 km high in the middle latitudes and in equatorial areas it is about 16 km high. In extremes, the Cumulonimbus reaches the lower stratosphere at 20 km altitude. So, how does it look like, and why should we be careful?

    photo: Pxhere;desc: Cumulonimbus capillatus storm cloud type low level.;link: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/590124;licence: cc

    Cumulonimbus capillatus looks like an anvil because it has a wide top which looks like a hair. And a word "hair" in Latin is "capillatus"! It sometimes remotely resemble a ruffled hair on a cloud, which can be long through all of the clouds. It is a nice look at it, but only from a distance.

    When it comes to precipitation, Cumulonimbus capillatus rarely causes showers. Usually, it makes heavy rain, thunderstorms, strong wind and hail. For all this, it is one of the most dangerous clouds you can spot in the sky!

    photo: Bidgee;desc: Cumulonimbus capillatus storm cloud type low level.;link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cumulonimbus_capillatus_3.jpg;licence: cc

    Cumulonimbus is more likely to occur in summer and in some cases it comes with a cold front, rarely with a warm front.

    Watch out for the Cumulonimbus capillatus and send your photos!


  • Moderator

    Those clouds are pure beauty.

    You made a little mistake with the altitudes (15000 and 20000 km)

    :) thanks for all these articles.



  • @Štěpán-Šubík

    "... Cumulonimbus capillatus looks like an anvil because it has a wide top which looks like a hair. And a word "hair" in Latin is "capillatus"! It sometimes remotely resemble a ruffled hair on a cloud ..."

    So ... the image shows ... an orange cloud ... with weird hair ... OK.



  • @WXcycles
    The "orange cloud" is a Cumulus castellanus.
    Cumulonimbus is the cloud in back (looks like an anvil).
    d7607cc1-ae32-42e6-9438-1bbb8a469697-εικόνα.png



  • @Gabou971 Thanks for reminding the altitude. My mistake :)



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