Where a Reef Nerd’s Mind Wanders – Jellyfish Clouds

Caitlin NicholeBy Caitlin Nichole 4 years ago
Home  /  Science  /  Where a Reef Nerd’s Mind Wanders – Jellyfish Clouds

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe past few weeks have been quite interesting for me, to say the least. As a result, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with my head in the clouds, where it often tends to go when I need a mental break. Interestingly enough, even with the fluffy white filling my head, I manage to have reefs on the brain. Staring at the sky the other day I noticed one of my favorite cloud patterns, Altocumulus Mackerel Sky, a stunning formation that heavily resembles the scales of the King Mackerel, from which the clouds get their name. Unsatisfied with the thought that there could only be one, lonely cloud formation that mirrored our oceans, I immediately thought of Jellyfish. They’re ghostly, bulbous mantles and streaming tentacles are definitely “cloudlike”. Well, a quick Google search informed me that, indeed, “Jellyfish Clouds” are a thing. Altocumulus Castelanus, “also known as jellyfish clouds due to their jellyfish-like appearance. These formed around 17,000 ft due to when the rush of moist air comes from the Gulf Stream and gets trapped between layers of dry air. The top of the cloud rises into a jellyfish shape and long tentacles known as “trailing virga” form from rain drops that have evaporated”. Incredible. Next time I find my mind wandering I’ll have to keep an eye out for the scarcely seen fluffy jellyfish of the sky. Also, just for fun, I’m also going to be on the lookout for the super-fun “Mammatus Clouds”. I don’t think meteorologists see enough boobs…
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Caitlin Nichole
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 Caitlin Nichole

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I'm a New York Reef Enthusiast and Fish Nerd, amateur photographer, dog lover, beer brewer/drinker, cocktail mixer, semi-seasoned chef, Prosecco Indulging, lightly foul-mouthed, slightly antagonistic, sorta-artistic, wordy bookworm of a girl. Dog mommy of three, an Abyssinian dubbed "Mau", plus one Dwarf Cuttlefish and a few Clarions. I have a tattoo of an Octopus with flowers on my rear. I ride my bike to the beach and sip bourbon with a good (reef) book while watching the waves. I like to think I'm witty and charming - but I'll let you decide.

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