” Undulatus is one of the sub-species belonging to the cirrocumulus genus. One blogger claims that the undulatus asperatus is formed by the “interaction of the dry, moving air with the bottom of the existing cloud,” (“New Cloud- Altocumulus Undulatus Asperatus”). This interaction “results in the rough appearance on the underside of the cloud, which is the part that we see from the ground,” (“New Cloud- Altocumulus Undulatus Asperatus”).
Digital cameras are partly responsible for the discovery of the new cloud formation (DellAmore). Undulatus Asperatus are rare, so that in the past it would have been extremely difficult to capture the images on film and recommend them to official meteorological associations. With digital photography, photographs are easier to obtain. The main obstacle towards officially classifying undulatus asperatus as a new cloud is knowledge. The Royal Meteorological Society is holding out for more specific information about how the cloud is formed and why they would differ from other types of undulatus clouds and the udder-like “mamma clouds.” As with altocumulus undulatus asperatus, mamma clouds look ominous but “by the time you see them, the storm cloud is already heading off to make news elsewhere,” (the Cloud Appreciation Society). According to the Royal Meteorological Society, “It is likely that the undulating and lumpy underside is caused by warm and cold air meeting at the boundary between the lower and middle atmosphere.”
All undulatus clouds are created by varying winds at different altitutdes (the Cloud Appreciation Society). “When blowing at different speeds above and below the cloud layer, the wind can cause the cloud to bunch up into ridges, which curve, join and divide, like the lines on your finger,” (the Cloud Appreciation Society).
Because altocumulus undulatus asperatus do appear to be different from other undulatus clouds, it is highly likely that they will become the next cloud formation to be officially named in the International Cloud Atlas of the World Meteorological Organization.
“Altocumulus Undulatus Asperatus.” Retrieved May 10, 2010 from http://www.undulatus-asperatus.org.lu/
“Asperatus: gathering storm to force new cloud name.” Guardian. Retrieved May 10, 2010 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2009/jun/01/2?picture=348217730
“Clouds.” 9 Sept. 2005. Retrieved May 10, 2010 from http://www.theairlinepilots.com/met/clouds.htm
The Cloud Appreciation Society. “Altocumulus Undulatus.” Retrieved May 10, 2010 from http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/altocumulus-undulatus-may-07/
“Cloud Species.” Retrieved 10 May 2010 from http://www.tpub.com/content/aerographer/14269/css/14269_19.htm
DellAmore, Christine. “PICTURES: New Cloud Type Discovered?” National Geographic. 3 Jun 2009. Retrieved May 10, 2010 from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/new-cloud-pictures/#asperatus-cloud-iowa_9626_600x450.jpg
Michaels, Jay. “New Cloud Type Discovered: Undulus Asperatus.” Meteorology News. 6 Jun 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2010 from http://www.meteorologynews.com/2009/06/06/new-cloud-type-discovered-undulus-asperatus/
“New Cloud- Altocumulus Undulatus Asperatus.” June 16, 2009. Retrieved May 10, 2010 from http://cloudyandcool.com/2009/06/16/new-cloud-altocumulus-undulatus-asperatus/
Olson, Mike. “Weather Geeks Champion New Armageddon-Worthy Cloud.” Wired. 21 Sept 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2010 from http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/magazine/17-10/st_clouds
Royal Meteorological Society. “Asperatus – a New Cloud Variety?” Facts and News. Retrieved 10 May 2010 from http://www.rmets.org/news/detail.php?ID=616
Sullivan, Andrew. “A New Cloud Type Is Recognized.” The Atlantic. 6 Oct. 2009. Retrieved May 10, 2010 from http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/10/a-new-cloud-type-is-recognized.html.