, ,

Earth’s newest cloud is terrifying

In 2014, I spoke with Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society, about his quixotic mission: to get recognition for a new category of cloud called the “undulatus asperatus.” For years, individuals from across the world had been sending him pictures of the unusual formations, trying to figure out what they were. But they had no official name.

Yesterday, on World Meteorological Day — nine years after the classification was first submitted — the World Meteorological Organization finally recognized Pretor-Pinney’s clouds in the updated version of the International Cloud Atlas, though the name has been tweaked to “asperitas.” They’re the first new addition to the Atlas in over half a century.

Pretor-Pinney described the formations as “localized waves in the cloud base, either smooth or dappled with smaller features, sometimes descending into sharp points, as if viewing a roughened sea surface from below. Varying levels of illumination and thickness of cloud can lead to dramatic visual effects.” Asperitas clouds tend to be low-lying, and are caused by weather fronts that create undulating waves in the atmosphere.

In layman’s terms the clouds look downright apocalyptic — these are the clouds you’d expect to see on Judgement Day, or in the lead-up to an alien invasion. One look at these clouds and you know something very bad is coming.

Though the clouds are grim, it’s nice to see a crowdsourced project gain some recognition from the scientific community. And it’s not often we get to see something this beautiful born out of thin air.

Photo by Louisa Price, Location: Colchester, Essex, UK
Photo by Elaine Patrick, Location: Newtonia Missouri
Photo by Gary McArthur, Location: Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

Leave a Reply

7 Comments on "Earth’s newest cloud is terrifying"

Notify of

Wow, air currents




Wow, sarcasm.


THERE ARE NO NEW CLOUDS! Clouds have been the exact same since the world began. THESE “New” things are called “CHEMTRAILIOUS POISONIOUS”


Stunning clouds


It actually looks pretty amazing

JOIN THE GREAT ILLUMINATI BROTHER HOOD TODAY AND LIVE A BETTER AND HAPPY LIFE. WELCOME TO THE GREAT TEMPLE OF RICHES AND FAME. Are you a businessman or woman, politician, musical, student,footballer,f­ashion designer,Pastors,Mod­el,upcoming artist,Rapper,Police­man,Military Personnel and you want to be rich, powerful and be famous in life. You can achieve your dreams by being a member of the Great illuminati brother hood. With this all your dreams and heart desire can be fully accomplish, if you really want to be a member of the great illuminati brother hood, contact the Lord illuminati now, Note: newly recruited members are entitled with… Read more »