Roamer’s Travels – Episode 10 – Cotton Candy in the Sky

Last week Roamer didn’t have to travel to see a spectacular sight; pink cotton-candy clouds.  June sunsets can be quite special and this one did not disappoint.  From his parking pad at Dog Bark Park Roamer was treated to big fluffy white cumulus clouds to the east colored pink by the setting sun.

Did you know the name cumulus comes from Latin, meaning to pile up?  This is exactly the action of cumulus clouds, which typically form at altitudes between 8000 and 20,000 feet depending on the moisture content in rising air.  Their upper parts continually grow or mushroom with rounded parts piling one atop the other forming what some describe as looking like cauliflower heads.

Cumulus clouds are also noteworthy in that they typically have flat bottoms.  When the head of the cloud becomes anvil shaped it is often an indicator of potential thunderstorms.  When the anvil and cloud bottoms become dark grey instead of white it is even more likely a storm will happen.

Happy summer and good cloud-watching!