Billowing Cumulus

May 15, 2005


Provided by: Paul Busse, The Steward School
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Paul Busse

The above photo showing billowing cumulus clouds was taken in mid-September, 2002 (about 4:30 in the afternoon), outside Richmond, Virginia. Puffy, bright tops with expanding turrets are often sure signs that cumulus clouds are actively building. A "strong" Sun and or favorable atmospheric environment (conditionally unstable air mass) may trigger vertical development in cumulus clouds, leading to cumulonimbus formation.

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