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Cumulonimbus Cloud facts

While investigating facts about Cumulonimbus Clouds and Cumulonimbus Clouds Weather, I found out little known, but curios details like:

About Ewa Wiśnierska, a german paraglider that got surprised by a thunderstorm and got sucked up by a cumulonimbus cloud to an altitude of 10.000m (33.000ft). She survived temperatures of -50*C and extreme oxygen deprivation at a height higher than the Mt. Everest.

how cumulonimbus clouds form?

William Rankin who survived ejecting from his plane and the failure of his parachute, then spent 40 minutes falling through a several-miles-deep cumulonimbus cloud which featured lightning strikes, a hailstorm and what he described as the "feeling" of thunder.

What is a cumulonimbus cloud?

In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across answering what do cumulonimbus clouds look like. Here are 29 of the best facts about Cumulonimbus Clouds Definition and Cumulonimbus Clouds Facts I managed to collect.

what cumulonimbus clouds look like?

  1. The phrase being on "cloud nine" actually comes from a cloud atlas published in 1896 that divides clouds into 10 basic types, the ninth type being cumulonimbus clouds, the most puffy-looking ones. See A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, Part V Chapter 17 Into the Troposphere.

  2. Sometimes the rain can evaporate before it hits the ground. This is referred to as virga.

  3. If a cumulonimbus cloud develops into a supercell, it can last several hours or longer. This type of storm often results in lightning, hail, strong and damaging wind, and tornadoes.

  4. The top of a cumulonimbus cloud can reach 39,000 feet or sometimes higher into the atmosphere.

  5. In the lower level of the cumulonimbus cloud it is mostly made up water droplets. Higher up in the cloud the temperature is below zero degrees Celsius, and ice crystals are the dominating form.

  6. A cumulonimbus cloud forms at heights less than 20,000 feet, but can extend upwards much further.

  7. Often the rain produced by a cumulonimbus cloud only lasts for 20 minutes or less, but the rainfall itself is often very heavy. It can also cause flash flooding.

  8. A cumulonimbus incus cloud has an anvil-shaped top.

  9. A cumulonimbus cloud goes through three stages. The first is the development stage; the second is the mature stage; and the third stage is the dissipation stage.

cumulonimbus cloud facts
What does a cumulonimbus cloud look like?

Why cumulonimbus clouds bring rain?

You can easily fact check explain why cumulonimbus clouds bring rain by examining the linked well-known sources.

Cumulonimbus clouds are the largest type of cloud, and it can extend through all three regions of clouds.

The cumulonimbus cloud can have a flattened top - which is caused by high winds. This leaves the cloud looking like and anvil. The storm is usually heading in the direction that than anvil points to.

William Rankin was the only known person to survive a fall from the top of a cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud. Flying an F-8 jet fighter over a cumulonimbus cloud, the engine failed forcing him to eject and parachute into the cloud. Rankin later wrote a book, “The Man Who Rode the Thunder.” - source

There are several different types of clouds. Vertical clouds include cumulonimbus clouds and cumulus clouds. Low clouds include stratus, and stratocumulus clouds. Middle clouds include Altostratus, altocumulus, and nimbostratus clouds. High clouds include cirrus, cirrocumulus, and cirrostratus clouds.

About Marine Lt. Col. William Henry Rankin. The only known person to survive a fall from the top of a cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud. - source

When do cumulonimbus clouds form?

A cumulonimbus capillatus cloud has a cirrus-like top which gives the appearance of hair.

How cumulonimbus clouds develop?

When viewed from the ground cumulonimbus clouds look dark and ominous. The light above is scattered by the water and ice droplets and makes it look very dark.

Cumulonimbus clouds can up to half a million tons of water at one time.

The idiom "cloud nine" is likely based on the 1896 edition of the International Cloud Atlas which defined ten types of clouds. Cumulonimbus, the high fluffy clouds were type nine.

Cumulonimbus clouds sometimes have bubble-like protrusions on their underside which are called mammatus or mammas.

Some cumulonimbus clouds have a tuba, which is a column that hangs from the cloud base. This can become a tornado or funnel cloud and can drop to as low as 20 feet above the ground.

Charge separation in cumulonimbus clouds is theorized to develop when?

About William Rankin who was carried for 40 minutes to the top of a cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud after ejecting from a fighter plane.

A cumulonimbus calvus cloud has a puffy top. In the right conditions the cumulonimbus calvus can become a cumulonimbus capillatus cloud.

Although more common in warm climates, winter cumulonimbus clouds can result in blizzards, which can also include lightning, thunder, and a lot of snow.

How cumulonimbus clouds look?

Cumulus congestus flammagenitus" and Cumulonimbus calvus flammagenitus" are clouds "that are clearly observed to have originated as a consequence of localized natural heat sources, such as forest fires, wildfires or volcanic activity and which, at least in part, consist of water drops."

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