Weather Photography
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Cloud Features and Phenomena Definitions

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Cumulonimbus Base Features A variety of features observed from below thunderstorms including feature such as scuds and precipitation. In most cases, the tops or sides of the thunderstorms are not in view.
Bushfires These photographs are related mostly to smoke from bushfires / wildfires and associated features. Bushfires vary in severity.
Storm Damage Photographs of damage to trees or property occurring as a result of severe storms and other forms of severe weather.
Flood Photographs of floods that have inundated property, roads, bridges and so on. Floods can be flash floods or longer term major flooding.
Clouds taken while
Various cloud types photographed from a plane.
Fog, Mist and Frost Fog is basically cloud forming at ground level varying in formation and thickness. Mist tends to occur as result of rain causing saturation mostly in forested areas.
Funnels Photographs of tornadoes, dust devils, waterspouts or landspouts.
Hail Balls of ice ranging in size from tiny peas to larger than orange size
Halo 'Ring' or arcs that occur as a result of sunlight or moonlight shining through high cloud or ice crystals resemble faint rainbows in the sky.
Lightning Various forms of lightning occurring day or night.
Mammatus Cloud formation exhibiting a bumpy appearance. These are common under the anvils of severe thunderstorm but can also be observed under altostratus.
Microburst Same as downburst but affecting a smaller area. A strong straight line wind in thunderstorms usually associated with a rain shaft. Caused by the sudden collapse of an updraft or occurring in the downdraft region.
Precipitation Cascade Photographs of various forms of precipitation (most) falling through the base of clouds observed at a distance.
Precipitation Various types of precipitation falling within proximity of where the photograph was taken.
Pyrocumulus Cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds that develop from a fire. The fire provides the lift and water vapour which may condense into clouds of varying sizes.
Rainbow Spectacular arcs of colours bands which occur as a result of scattering of sunlight rays.
Roll Cloud Base feature where updraughts and downdraughts move side by side cause a rolling cloud formation.
Shelf Cloud Similar in development to a roll cloud but with a more shelf like appearance.
Snow White ice crystal form of precipitation that can accumulate on the ground occuring during cold conditions.
Sunrise Photography of clouds associated with the spectacular sunrise colours.
Sunset Photography of clouds associated with the spectacular sunset colours.
Virga Precipiation in the form of snow crystal streaks falling towards the ground but mostly evaporating.
Wall Cloud Wall clouds are an isolated lowering of a cloud that is attached to the rain-free base of a thunderstorm, generally to the rear of the visible precipitation area. Wall clouds indicate the updraft of or the inflow to a thunderstorm.
Inflow Bands Inflow bands consist of low clouds, arranged parallel to the low-level winds and moving into or toward a thunderstorm.
Pileus / Cap Cloud Smooth elongated cap like cloud which may form at the top of vigorous thunderstorm or cumulus updrafts.
Thunderstorm Anvil The flat, spreading top of a cumulonimbus often shaped like an anvil. Thunderstorm anvils may spread hundreds of kilometres downwind from the thunderstorm itself, and sometimes may spread upwind - known as back sheared anvil.
Thunderstorm Updraft A small-scale current of rising air condensing to become an individual tower of a thunderstorm.
Overshooting Tops A dome-like protrusion above a thunderstorm anvil, representing a very strong updraft. A persistent anvil dome is often present on a supercell.
Strong Winds Photographs showing the effects of strong winds and gales on trees and the ocean. Microbursts, thunderstorms, tropical cyclones or other types of low pressure storms may be the cause.

Document: define2.htm
Updated: 1st February 2008
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