November 2014


How and where a cloud releases its load to earth can vary greatly with the type of cloud. In the case of November’s Cloud of the Month, a large Cumulonimbus over the Mongolian Steppe, the precipitation is sudden, heavy and very localised. Here, the rain or hail is falling within an intense downward burst of air, known as a ‘microburst’. It is not unlike a cloud sneeze.

A microburst can be either ‘dry’, when it is just a downward column of intense wind, or ‘wet’, as in James and Sheila’s photograph, when the wind carries heavy precipitation. Like an actual sneeze, a microburst can develop suddenly and with little warning. So when a storm cloud is overcome with the urge to let rip like this, you’ll have to hope it isn’t facing you as it does so.

© James Hubbard & Dr. Sheila Loughman

2 thoughts on “November 2014”

  1. Glenda Pearson avatar Glenda says:

    ‘right’, dammit! Typing with one paw atm, due to injury and thus lots of typoesque prancing around keyboard *heavy sigh*

  2. Glenda Pearson avatar Glenda says:

    Wonderful shot and caught just at the rihjy moment :)
    BTW I love this society because the majority of people do not appreciate clouds because they equate them with rain and bad weather.. BUT.. when you live in a rain-challenged area you learn to appreciate clouds in all their fascinating forms :)

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