Cumulus Undulatus

Above: Cumulus Undulatus

Cumulus Undulatus

The cumulus undulatus clouds formation refers to an arrangement that has all the features to be included in the cumulus family. More exactly, they are usually described as inflated, rounded and full shapes that form at the lowest altitude of the troposphere. However, the undulatus indicative in its name suggests that the large shapes customary for the cumulus are broken down into smaller, curved shapes that can extend on the entire sky or at least in very large portions. Because their shape comes as a result of wind, they can also look like tiny patches of stripes, usually more fragmented than the cumulus radiatus clouds.

How are cumulus undulatus clouds formed?

Similar to other cumulus clouds displays, the undulatus arrangements require a large mass of hot air to lift up in the atmosphere till the point when the convection process is possible. In case at that time there are also heavy winds blowing at the same altitude where the convection takes places, then the cumulus clouds will break down into smaller undulated pieces. Because the small portions do not have sufficient moisture to create heavy water droplets, it is important to note that they are commonly associated with stable and sunny weather.

What do cumulus undulatus clouds look like?

It is important to note that their rippled shape is specific for other types of clouds that can form at higher altitude in the atmosphere. Therefore, undulatus clouds are also specific for the following categories and subcategories of clouds as well:

  • Altostratus
  • Cumulus humilis
  • Altocumulus
  • Cirrocumulus
  • Stratus

The reason for this is that they mainly depend on heavy winds being present during the point of convection. Therefore, depending on the type of cloud they materialize from, besides the rolled appearance, they can be colored in white or in different shades of grey. While the white clouds suggest fair weather, the grey shades they can be colored in along with windy conditions are usually an indicator of rain. Overall, they do not provide hints of any specific weather, but are rather a symptom of local turbulences.

What height are cumulus undulatus clouds found?

As they are part of the cumulus category, the undulatus will therefore materialize at the same altitudes as the other formations from its family. More exactly, depending on the air humidity and the wind speed, the undulatus can develop from two thousand feet and up. It is important to note that the highest altitudes that can lead to this cloud formation is different across the globe, meaning they are usually higher in arid and desert areas and lower in regions where there is a lot of moisture in the atmosphere.

How common are cumulus undulatus clouds?

Considering that the aforementioned undulatus cloud patterns are part of the cumulus low clouds arrangements, they can literary form in any region of the globe. However, taking into account that they require a mass of hot water to rise in the troposphere, which is later on modeled by wind, they are usually more common for the summer.

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