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A New
Asperatus clouds may well be the the world’s
newest cloud formation.
last time that anewtypeof cloudwas officially
recognised by theUnitedNation’sWorldMeteoro-
logical Organization was in 1951, but these clouds
that look like choppy seas could be the newest.
The Cloud Appreciation Society was unable to
identify the clouds fromphotos that were sent in by sky watchers
all over the world. As a result of this, they have proposed that they
should be officially classified as asperatus clouds, from the Latin
word for ‘roughened.’
Some experts believe that they formunder the same conditions
asmammatus clouds,which look like theyhavea series of pouches
hanging below them. These happenwhen ice crystals in the cloud
sink, but are too large to evaporate in the air below.
The asperatus cloud is formed by strong winds that shear the
underside of the mammatus cloud to form undulating waves
instead of pouches.