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My Favourite Clouds

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MonsoonMaiden

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LENTICULAR CLOUDS

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These are stationary lens-shaped clouds that are sometimes mistaken for UFOs because of their smooth saucer-like shape. Where stable moist air flows over a mountain or a range of mountains, a series of large-scale standing waves may form on the downwind side. Lenticular clouds sometimes form at the crests of these waves.

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Unfortunately we don't see these in Singapore because there are no high mountains nearby. I once did see some lens-shaped clouds while driving home from Tengah Airbase, though. I was driving at the time & didn't have a camera with me, but I just couldn't take my eyes off them. We do have some hills here & it is possible that the airflow over the hills may have produced those clouds.

I saw some lovely cloud formations when I was in NZ South Island. I think they are a truly unique & spectacular phenomenon. It's a pity I can't see them in real life more often.

PILEUS, OR CAP CLOUDS

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A layer of cloud sometimes seen capping a cumulus cloud. The pileus layer forms when the cumulus cloud pushes a moist layer of air above it upwards, causing condensation in this layer. Eventually, the cumulus will grow into and penetrate the pileus cloud, after which the pileus may remain as a cloud skirt around the cumulus.

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I have often seen these in Singapore. I get a kick out of spotting them, because they are transient & elusive. They are usually observed over towering cumulus clouds.

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