Milazzo, Sicily, Italy
Latitude: 38° 12' 35'' N
Longitude: 15° 13' 43'' E
14 July 2014 2100 (Local Time)
Camera direction: towards NW
Image I.D.: S.10.23
CL = 3, CM = 0, CH = 0
Links in the image description will highlight features on the image. Mouse over the features for more detail.
The left side of this image shows the strong vertical extent of a rising tower of Cumulonimbus. The cloud edges, so far as can be seen, are losing sharpness and thus are the species calvus. Of interest are two bolts of lightning discharging from the cloud into the sea. A rain shower, partly obscuring the smaller lightning bolt, is the supplementary feature praecipitatio.
Lightning is an electrometeor. It is the visible manifestation of the sudden discharge of atmospheric electricity which may occur within a cloud, a cloud discharge, or as in this image between a cloud and the ground or sea, known as a ground discharge. Ground discharges usually follow a tortuous downward course, with branches off the main channel.
In the distance towards the right Stratocumulus and small Cumulus can be seen.
Cumulonimbus are heavy, dense clouds of considerable vertical extent, in the form of a mountain or huge towers. At least part of the upper portion is usually smooth, or fibrous or striated and nearly always flattened. The cloud base is often very dark. In this image the sproutings of the upper part have become rather indistinct and flattened at 2 and 3, characteristic of the species calvus. Between the main towers the cloud is still developing, having sharper outlines and a cauliflower appearance which identify it as Cumulus congestus. Supplementary feature praecipitatio in the form of a shower is falling from the cloud on the left. Higher in the sky the fibrous elements of Cirrus fibratus can be seen.