School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences

Animation of Cumulus and Stratocumulus Clouds

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This is a two-hour sequence of cumulus and stratocumulus, looking northwards.

The cumulus mark the top of the local convection layer in airflow coming from the east. The stratocumulus is in a layer slightly further up, in which the air is flowing almost from the south. This marked change of wind with height is an example of wind shear. Note that the tops of the larger cumulus clouds reach almost up to this layer of stratocumulus, so that their tops move in a different direction to their bases, giving a "rolling" appearance.