Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Weather enthusiasts are looking to get a type of cloud recognized by world meteorological services. It appears this new type, known by its Latin name of "undulatus asperatus" or "agitated waves" for short, is the first new formation since 1951.  Some people say it almost looks like a fluffy blanket covering an area.

It all started when a picture by Jane Wiggins of Cedar Rapids Iowa, went viral on the net in 2006. Since then, weather buffs around the globe have taken their own snap shots and are hoping to formally get it recognized. 

This is now up to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, who have the final say in cloud classifications. The big question is, what would it be called then?  If it were to make it, it would join the ranks of other well known cloud types as cirrus, cumulus, & stratus.

This new recognition may be worthy, but it may take some time.  The president of the Cloud Appreciation Society, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, says,"the last time they did a new edition of the book was in 1975." 

I have seen these clouds in Minnesota as warm air overruns colder air, almost acting as a blanket. All we can do now is wait and see if WMO will include it in their next reference book update, whenever that may be.

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