NASA’s weather satellite captures peculiar cloud cover over the Capsian Sea


Occasionally, NASA weather satellites spot clouds hovering over the Caspian Sea locked between countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. More recently, a NASA satellite spotted a cloud that looks rather peculiar, even to the agency. As seen in the image shared by NASA, the cloud looks like a white smudge of paint from an artist’s thumb and NASA believes this sets it apart from the more typical diffuse and scattered cloud cover.

Learn more about the Stratocumulus cloud

The image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on May 28 and according to Bastiaan van Diedenhoven, this relatively small cloud is a stratocumulus, according to a NASA blog post. Diedenhoven, an atmospheric scientist at the Netherlands Institute for Space Research SRON, explained that the term stratocumulus is made up of the Latin word named cumulus, which means heap or heap, and Stratus, which means “to spread out” or “to cover with a diaper”.

These types of clouds form at low altitudes, usually between 600 and 2,000 meters (2,000 and 7,000 feet). As for this small cloud in the image, it formed a layer about 100 kilometers in diameter at an altitude of about 1,500 meters (5,000 feet). Diedenhoven further revealed that the cloud must have formed when hot, dry air from the Balkans encountered cooler, wetter air over the Caspian and caused it to drift across the sea and dissipate. when he reached the ground.

Explaining the sharp edges of the Stratocumulus cloud, Diedenhoven said in a statement: “The sharp edges often form when dry, warm air from the earth collides with cooler moist air above the ocean, and the cloud forms at that boundary. You often see this off the west coast of Africa, but at much larger scales.”

It’s not the first time that weather satellites circling our planet have captured breathtaking views of the clouds below them. Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shared an image in which the clouds delivered a message during one of the weekends. See for yourself below.


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