Rare Cloud Formations You Haven’t Seen Before

We see clouds almost every day, yet we haven’t seen most of them in our lives. These beautiful masses of droplets may seem random, however there’s a whole cloud classification system uniform worldwide that was introduced back 1802 by Luke Howard.

Howard named the three principal categories of clouds – cumulus, stratus, and cirrus, as well as a series of intermediate and compound modifications, such as cirrostratus and stratocumulus, in order to accommodate the transitions occurring between the forms. He also identified the importance of clouds in meteorology: “Clouds are subject to certain distinct modifications, produced by the general causes which affect all the variations of the atmosphere; they are commonly as good visible indicators of the operation of these causes, as is the countenance of the state of a person’s mind or body.”

Here’s a selection of some of the most impressive cloud formations ever captured – have you ever seen any similar ones yourself?

Mammatus Clouds

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Image credits: HeavyLight.ca

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Image credits: Ken Lewis -

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Image credits: Vincent Fryhover

Lenticular Clouds

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Image credits: Brian Middleton

Image credits: Jean-Michel Priaux

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Image credits: Dementievskiy Ivan

Undulatus Asperatus

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Image credits: JΩSH

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Image credits: wittap

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Image credits: JΩSH

Fallstreak Hole

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Image credits: ladigue_99

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Image credits: mtnrockdhh

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Image credits: lookseenseen

Polar Stratospheric Cloud

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Image credits: Alan R. Light

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Image credits: FotoLind

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Image credits: FotoLind

Cirrus Kelvin-Helmholtz

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Image credits: drdouglascordeiro.blogspot.com

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Image credits: drdouglascordeiro.blogspot.com

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Image credits: pfjc&pfjc2

Roll Clouds

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Image credits: Kick Petroff

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Image credits: apod.nasa.gov

Anvil Clouds

Image credits: Nicholas_T

Image credits: hide

Image credits: *Lampy*

Also, check out Smeared Sky Photography by Matt Molloy

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