back to article Boffins name 12 new types of cloud in first Cloud Atlas since 1986

The World Meteorological Organisation has published the first new edition of its Cloud Atlas since 1986 and in so doing named eleven new types of cloud, some identified by digital-camera-wielding citizen cloud wonks. The new edition is also the first to be published online. The big new addition to the Atlas is “Volutus”, a …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. stucs201

    Does it include the types of clouds normal people recognise?

    Clouds that give nice sunsets.

    Clouds that look like a <insert animal here>

    Clouds that are black over Bill's mother's

    Clouds that piss it down with rain when you have a BBQ

    Clouds that guarantee any interesting astronomical event isn't visible from the UK


    1. Bandikoto

      Clouds that are black over Bill's mother's

      That's what's known as an "SLC" - "scary-looking cloud".

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there any actual point naming different types of cloud?

    1. SkippyBing

      'Is there any actual point naming different types of cloud?'


      Oh you want more. On a practical level different cloud types are associated with different weather and weather systems. If you can identify what clouds types are passing over you you can monitor the passage of a weather system and with reasonable accuracy determine what's going to happen over the next few hours/days.

      Alternatively it's a way to differentiate the big bastard black one that gives several inches of rain in 45 minutes or so from the fluffy white one that just casts a shadow over your picnic (cumulonimbus and cumulus).

      Full disclosure I may have done the odd met forecasting course.

      1. Anonymous Coward
      2. LesC


        The "big bastard black one" spewing out lightning at 60 a second and thrrowing out grapefruit sized hail, torrential rain, tornadoes and such like is guaranteed to put an end to your barbeque /house /road /day with a tornado sending your bacon, prawns, sossiges barbeque, house, car and such like into the next country and is certain to spoil your day. And get a flurry of vids on Younyancat.

        Like the one we got at 55N a few years back....

        There's a nice positive lightning bolt on the clouds website. Can come from 20 miles away. One of these babies anywhere near you will spoil your day for sure :( You wouldn't want to be over a blue jet, sprite, elve, upward or whatever other ionospheric lightning bolt either. Dunno if the U2 or SR71 or leo spacecraft have ever been clobbered by one of these babies.

        High energy physics $deity style.

        Nuke as a supercell has the power of lots of 'em.


        1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

          Re: BTFH?

          "spewing out lightning at 60 a second"

          That's only a problem with UK's 50Hz power. Those 60Hz lightning storms work nicely in the US, even if the transformers get a bit buzzy from saturating through half the cycle.

          1. LesC

            Re: BTFH?

            Erm, minute. 60 a second would be one hell of a TS :-(


            My bad :/

            Cloud Study from 1963 had some of these types istr pyrocumulus and fallstreaks / fallout. Complete with photos from above power stations and forest fires.

            The first and only true cloud there ain't going to be any dockergenitus or azurestratus fractus (= shredded!) or stratocumulus stratiformis undulatus hainesii :-( anytime soon.

            1. LesC
              Black Helicopters

              Re: BTFH?

              There's an article by M.A. Michaelis (Practical Electronics) from the late 1960's which seems to get it very right - he touched upon sprites / blue jets, etc then postulating upon high energy thunderstorms being driven by the ionosphere - it seems to be largely correct... my field mill experiments from this time seem to bear this out. At this time upward lightning 'flachenblitz' was largely discredited.

              $deity make yourself a field mill or coke bottle magnetometer or the two plate charge meter around a CA3130 or mosfet / valve voltmeter atmospheric physics is amazing! Thundery conditions produce extreme voltage gradients.

              This is Lester Haines - type science and not Devops. You can make a field mill or a positive lightning detector easily. The only clouds are cumulonimbus.


      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Full disclosure I may have done the odd met forecasting course."

        Next time, try the normal met forecasting course. Less fun, more science :-)

  4. Your alien overlord - fear me

    "and is an example of an undular bore." er no, it's an example of a bore who you don't want to get trapped next to in the pub.

    And as el Reg implied, why is there no 'digital cloud'?

  5. TRT Silver badge

    You can use a second byte...

    to depict the colour of the lining. Mine's the one with ±10% tolerance.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: You can use a second byte...

      I saw what you did there :-)

  6. Haku

    None called Jerry Smith?


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Strange that they didn't have an on line poll to choose names for the new clouds.

    1. Graham Cunningham

      Cloudy McCloudface.

      Online name polls are done, forever.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cloudy McCloudface.

        No, they just need an extra round. First get suggestions from the public, then present the "good" ones for voting.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    13. Azure Cloud - a cloud of ever changing dimensions and density that turns up where you least expect it, and swiftly vanishes when you actually want some rain.

  9. scign

    Hands up if you came to this article thinking they were talking about the tech kind.

    1. Hollerithevo

      Just you then

      Oh well.

  10. Eugene Crosser


    There was at least one other Cloud Atlas published in 2004...

  11. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    Teach the controversy!

    Under "Homogenitus," do they include chemtrails? If not, WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?

  12. Philip Stott

    Is an undular bore the cloud expert you're at next to at a dinner party?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      re:Is an undular bore the cloud expert you're at next to at a dinner party?

      I've found horizontal rolling has rescued many a dinner party and in more ways than one!

  13. W4YBO

    I'm still waiting on a Nympho-Cumulus cloud type.

  14. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken


    Frank Sinatra - Both Sides Now*

    * Yes, it's by Joni Mitchell. But the Sinatra version is the definitive one.

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