The World Meteorological Organization has released its new,
long-awaited, International Cloud Atlas – the global reference for observing
and identifying clouds.
It was released for the World Meteorological Day on March 23rd.
The new Atlas combines 19th century traditions with 21st
It includes new classifications, including volutus, a roll
cloud; clouds from human activities such as the contrail, a vapour trail
sometimes produced by airplanes; and asperitas, a dramatic undulated cloud
which captured the public imagination. It also features meteorological
phenomena like rainbows, halos, snow devils and hailstones.
Most cloud names contain Latin prefixes and suffixes which,
when combined, give an indication of the cloud’s character. These include:
Alto: mid-level (though Latin for high)
Cirrus/cirro: feathers, wispy
Cumulus/cumulo: heaped up/puffy
Stratus/strato: flat/layered and smooth
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