Stratospheric Nacreous Clouds over McMurdo Station, Antarctica (credit: NASA, Wikipedia)
If you missed the big announcement, today is World Meteorological Day. The occasion was designated by the World Meteorological Orgnization (WMO) to celebrate Understanding Clouds and all things cloudy. In recognition of this day, the weather organization released a new International Cloud Atlas as a global reference for observing and identifying clouds, an essential atmospheric component of global weather, climate, and the hydrologic (water) cycle. The digital atlas identifies several new cloud forms including asperitas, cavum, cauda (tail clouds), fluctus (wave clouds), and murus (wall clouds) that join the list of better known forms like cirrus, lenticular, and cumulus.
Asperitas Clouds (credit: Wikipedia) Fluctus Clouds (credit: WMO)
According to Finnish meteorologist Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the WMO:
Throughout the centuries, few natural phenomena have inspired as much scientific thought and artistic reflection as clouds. More than two millennia ago, Aristotle studied clouds and wrote a treatise addressing their role in the hydrological cycle, and today, scientists understand that clouds play a vital role in the Earth’s energy balance, climate, and weather.
Several of the new clouds were first identified nominated by the Cloud Appreciation Society that says everyone should love clouds. You might wish to join and become one of their 'cloud-spotters' and have a cloud recognized in a future cloud atlas.