The Kingdom of the Clouds

This visual cornucopia of fluff was captured over Africa in October of 2017. Scan around and you’ll find:

1)      patches of low-altitude stratus clouds, the buzz kill behind gloomy, overcast days;

2)      those fair-weather friends and cheery little marshmallows of the sky, low to mid-altitude cumulus clouds;

3)      wispy, crystalline feathers of high-altitude cirrus clouds;

4)      and several anvil-topped cumulonimbus clouds - dreaded dragon lairs of thunder, lightning, and torrential rain.

The medium that gives substance and strength to the clouds, the earth’s atmosphere, fades to black in the distance as it reaches for the very edge of space.

While the tell-tale cyclonic pattern of a tropical storm is not represented here, it’s doubtful anyone on the ground was complaining. Check out the ISS Image of the Week archives for dramatic and sobering shots of past hurricanes. Yikes.

Image Link: https://www.windowsonearth.org/Featured-Galleries/Best-New-Images/i-4hdVxpT/A

Science Link: https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/clouds_intro