10.6.09

ASPERATUS

A cloudspotter from Somerset believes he
has identified a new type of cloud.

Gavin Pretor-Pinney, from Somerton, who
also founded the Cloud Appreciation Society,
wants recognition for what he has
named the asperatus cloud.

He said: "It looks quite violent - as if you
are looking up from underneath the
turbulent surface of the sea."


Mr Pretor-Pinney asked his cousin - who is a Latin
teacher - for a word that means choppy or
turbulent that is used to describe the sea to
name the cloud after.
"Asperatus comes
from the Latin verb aspero meaning 'to
roughen up' or 'agitate'," he said.


Mr Pretor-Pinney said the pictures were sent in
by cloud society members from all over the
world and some of them said there was no
storm activity or heavy precipitation
in the area at the time.


He said: "We need to look into this some more
and I am speaking with the Royal Meteorological
Society to do that. There has been no change
to the classifications of clouds since 1953
and maybe this should be considered now."


Clouds are classified by a committee of
experts from the
World Meteorological
Organization (WMO) based
in Switzerland.


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