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Glidernaut

Missouri Cloud Type

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I was about to fly yesterday but decided to stay on the ground after seeing this phenomenon.  What causes numerous forming small cumulus clouds to appear like virga?  Is it the result of an upper layer, cold downburst?

Nixa Missouri.jpg

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5 hours ago, Glidernaut said:

I was about to fly yesterday but decided to stay on the ground after seeing this phenomenon.  What causes numerous forming small cumulus clouds to appear like virga?  Is it the result of an upper layer, cold downburst?

Nixa Missouri.jpg

Looks like fall streaks/virga underneath the tiny altocumulus patches.  I'm guessing the right amount of moisture in that layer to produce that phenomenon.  

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At temperatures between 0C and -40C you can have either water droplets, snow/ice crystals, or both.  It all depends on the type of aerosols present along with the temperature and humidity.  At temperatures below freezing the ice crystals are generally much larger than the liquid droplets, so they will slowly fall and separate from the part of the cloud that is liquid droplets.

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