Thursday, March 30, 2023

NASA satellite sees strange clouds over the Caspian Sea

It is not uncommon to see clouds hovering over at least part of the Caspian Sea, the largest inland body of water on the planet. But on May 28, NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) spotted a strangely shaped cloud drifting across the water body. The cloud had well-defined edges that resembled something from a cartoon, or something depicted on scenes, in contrast to the typical diffuse and scattered cloud cover.

According to Bastian van Diedenhoven, atmospheric scientist at the SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, the cloud is a small stratocumulus cloud. Cumulus clouds are “piles” of “cauliflower-shaped” clouds that are usually found during good weather conditions. In stratocumulus clouds, these piles are joined together to form a broad horizontal layer of clouds.

The Stratocumulus cloud in the picture formed a layer that extends for about 100 km. These clouds usually form at low altitudes, typically 600 to 2,000 meters above ground. The image that was visible was probably hovering at an altitude of about 1,500 metres.

Late in the morning, when the photo above was taken, the cloud was over the central Caspian. By noon, it had moved to the northwest and moved towards the central Caspian. By noon, it had moved to the northwest and embraced the coast of Makhachkala, Russia, with a low plain near the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains.

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According to van Diedenhoven, the cloud could have formed when warm, dry air encountered cold, moist air over the Caspian. It could then flow into the ocean and become extinct when it reached land.

“Sharp edges often form when dry, warm air coming from land collides with cool moist air over the ocean, and clouds form at that boundary. You often see it off the west coast of Africa, but a lot massive,” van Diedenhoven said in a press statement, explaining that the way the cloud was formed also explains its sharp edges.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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