VIDEO: Stunning Time-Lapse of Rare Undulatus Asperatus Clouds
Weather provides us with many stunning images. Some are sunsets, some showcase the power of tornadoes and others…Well, they capture the physical essence of the atmosphere, which is a fluid.
You’re probably thinking, ‘wait, the atmosphere is a fluid?’ It’s absolutely a fluid, it’s just not exactly a liquid. There’s a distinct difference.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, a fluid is “any liquid or gas…that cannot sustain a tangential, or shearing, force when at rest and that undergoes a continuous change in shape when subjected to such a stress. ”
And whether it’s from thunderstorm gust fronts, gravity waves or large-scale pressure systems, our atmosphere is constantly under stress. An incredible time-lapse, taken by Alex Schueth on July 7, 2014, shows the seldom-seen undulatus asperatus roiling overhead. Schueth is a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an avid storm chaser.
So, what exactly are undulatus asperatus clouds? In short, they’re still a bit of a mystery to scientists. But, what we do know is this: Undulatus asperatus generally appear as a precursor to thunderstorm activity. They are likely the result of interfacing air masses — warm and cool — that produce turbulence aloft.
While they may look imposing and scary, these clouds are a sight of the natural world to behold.
Check out the video above to see how they move. It’s fascinating.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond