Some odd cloud formations were spotted this morning and if you saw them, they were quite a beautiful sight.
So what are these weird wavy, ominous looking clouds?
These are a unique cloud called asperatis. Previously they were knows as undulatus asperatus which I think is even more fun to say.
Before we talk about what they are, the coolest fact about the asperatis clouds is that they are the newest recognized cloud.
About a decade ago, the Cloud Appreciation Society (yes that's a real organization) proposed a new classification of the cloud. Photos of these wavy clouds would be submitted and the clouds never seemed to fit in the other cloud classifications.
The proposed name was Asperatus stemming from the Latin verb 'Aspero" meaning 'to make rough.' The clouds resemble rough seas and if you see a video or time-lapse, you can really pick out the wave motion. This shows how fluid the atmosphere is.
Apparently it takes a really long time to get a new cloud made official. Finally in 2017, the World Meteorological Organization made it official. It became the newest recognized cloud which hasn't happened since the 1950s.
While these clouds don't themselves produce rain, they are typically seen either in stormy environments or with rain nearby.
They do form in unstable conditions when the atmosphere is more turbulent. This morning this was wind shear in place with surface winds out of the northeast, and winds at 18,000' out of the south/southwest.
They are a special treat if you do spot them, especially as defined as they were this morning. Make sure you look at the photo pf them from sunrise. In fact I've never even seen a photo of the Asperitas cloud at sunset or sunrise so to have a little color is even more of a rare treat.
Take a look at the slideshow to see some of the photo submissions today: