Mirostaw – World Meteorological Organization

Cloud of the Day – Volutus

Volutus, from the Latin volutus, which means rolled, is a species of cloud (yes, they actually come in species, and genera too) that the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently added to the latest edition of its venerable cloud atlas (2017.) It’s described as

a long, horizontal, tube-shaped cloud mass, often appearing to roll about a horizontal axis. It usually occurs as a single line and seldom extends from horizon to horizon.

This species is usually found in the stratocumulus genera, and more rarely in the altocumulus genera. In either case, volutus is rare.

The more observant among you might notice a resemblance to a previous Green Comet Cloud of the Day: Roll cloud. You would be right. It’s the same cloud, only now the WMO has officially included it in the cloud atlas, and given it a Latin name in keeping with the rest of the clouds. The atlas has to have a consistent naming regimen if it’s to be useful for scientific research.


About arjaybe

Jim has fought forest fires and controlled traffic in the air and on the sea. Now he writes stories.
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