What is a roll cloud

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13 ominous photos and videos of roll clouds

what is a roll cloud

A roll cloud (Cloud Atlas name volutus) is a low, horizontal, tube-shaped, and relatively rare type of arcus cloud. They differ from shelf.

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A huge shelf cloud rolls in just east of Freeport, Ill. A shelf cloud, also known as an arcus or arc cloud, may be the most frequently submitted cloud photo to our weather. Based on their appearance, we certainly understand why. The first two photos in the slideshow from Lake Hendricks, Minnesota, on June 20, , show a terrific example of a roll cloud. While menacing in appearance, shelf clouds are not tornadoes or wall clouds.

A photo taken near Brazil captures a rare and beautiful "roll cloud," a tubular cloud that seems to tumble across the sky. Roll clouds are a type of arcus cloud, which is a category of low cloud formations. Their more common cousin is the shelf cloud, often seen on the leading edges of thunderstorms. Roll clouds sometimes form along with storms, too, born out of the storm's downdraft. Sinking cold air causes warm, moist air on the planet's surface to climb to higher altitudes, where the moisture condenses into cloud form. Winds from the storm "roll" the cloud parallel to the horizon, creating an effect that looks much like a horizontal tornado. Unlike shelf clouds, rolls clouds are completely detached from the bulk of the storm.

This website uses cookies. Read about how we use cookies. A Roll cloud is a relatively rare, low-level horizontal, tube-shaped accessory cloud completely detached from the cumulonimbus base, unlike the more common shelf cloud. When present, it is located along the gust front and most frequently observed on the leading edge of a line of thunderstorms , a cold front or line squalls. The roll cloud will appear to be slowly "rolling" about its horizontal axis.

All rights reserved. It's not something you see every day: a horizontal cloud, vibrant orange and rotating, that's taken over the sky. But that's just what people got to see online this week after a couple in Timbercreek Canyon, Texas, spotted a "weird-looking cloud" and posted a video of it. Now questions abound: What is it exactly? And what are the chances you'll get to see one in person? It's called a "roll cloud," which is a type of arcus cloud—low, horizontal formations typically associated with thunderstorms.

They are caused by a downdraft from an advancing storm causing moist warm air to rise, cool below its dew point and form a cloud. When this happens uniformly along an extended front, a roll cloud may form. The cloud species - similar to arcus - was last year officially named as a new species of cloud in the World Meteorological Organization's Cloud Atlas. The new cloud species name will now be used by meteorologists operationally around the world. The British Met Office and World Meteorological Organisation said it had made the decision after exhaustive research — with many pictures sent in by amateur cloudspotters around the world. Going by the name volutus, the new species is described in the guidebook as 'long, typically low, horizontal, detached, tube-shaped cloud mass' and often appears to 'roll slowly about'.



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An arcus cloud is a low, horizontal cloud formation, usually appearing as an accessory cloud to a cumulonimbus.,

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Roll cloud

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