New Cloud Type: Undulatus Asperatus

There hasn’t been a new cloud type in over 60 years (since 1951), however there may be a new one come November 2015. This cloud, Undulatus Asperatus (included in the glossary) is thought to break out of the many classifications (around 80 currently in the cloud atlas, in my glossary I have only included the main types) that already exist. This cloud type was first photographed in Iowa in 2005, and has taken ten years to have significant information and evidence that it may be a new cloud type. It is thought that it is mammatus cloud, but shaped by the wind causing its ‘roughened wave’ formation. This cloud is rare and not often seen, which is why it has taken so long to be taken seriously and to have the potential of a new classification. Gavin Pretor-Pinney, head of the cloud appreciation society has been leading the campaign to collect the sufficient evidence including finding photographic examples of the cloud from around the world. This has been shown in many places now such as: France, Norway and the UK (Devon, Suffolk, Middlesborough, and Perthshire) as well as other places too.

This cloud is formed near and before storms, and most often seen in the US before big storms which generally include big thunderstorms. However beyond the US this formation isn’t really well known. This is something that the classification could promote and maybe even give people a greater interest in clouds and what they may cause.

If this cloud is classified in November who knows what this could be the beginning of. This wouldn’t mean that clouds could be more easily classified or more often, purely because there doesn’t seem to be new types of clouds appearing very often, however this will be an achievement for Gavin Pretor-Pinney and his society, certainly giving them more exposure and making them better known for what they do. Who knows this could even make research into what I have been trying to do more possibly, this may bring cloud watching a bigger audience and allow people to more openly appreciate what is around them. Below is a few pictures of this cloud type.