Cumulonimbus Incus

Above: Cumulonimbus Incus

Cumulonimbus Incus

One of the single most fearsome and unusual looking clouds in the sky is probably the famous anvil shaped cumulonimbus incus cloud. This cloud signifies a mature storm and usually comes with some very serious weather. One of these tells you that the weather is going to be very bad for sure.

What are cumulonimbus incus clouds?

A cumulonimbus incus cloud is most often referred to as the ultra-famous and ultra-dangerous anvil cloud. With this cloud almost always come very severe storms that include high winds, thunder, lightning and a lot of rain. If you see one of these, you should most likely expect a lot of damage.

What height are cumulonimbus incus clouds found?

These clouds are typically the regular size of a cumulonimbus cloud, which is large. The base of these clouds can run from about 5,000 feet on average. The tops of these large, towering clouds can reach 20,000 feet. In more extreme cases, it can even reach 50,000 and 75,000 feet. This happens occasionally with this particular type of cloud because it is actually a very extreme type of cloud.

Classification of cumulonimbus incus clouds

A cumulonimbus incus cloud is technically called a cumulonimbus capillatus incus cloud. It is actually a very specific type of the cumulonimbus species. The significant features of it highlight exactly how specific this cloud’s particular classification is.

How is a cumulonimbus incus cloud formed?

This type of cloud of course starts out as a regular cumulonimbus cloud. When atmospheric instability begins to create a storm, the cumulonimbus cloud is formed. This towering cloud can then change when the stratosphere becomes stable once again. This causes the anvil top of the cloud to form.

What do cumulonimbus incus clouds look like?

Let’s talk about some of the visual characteristics of these clouds, namely:

  • The cumulonimbus incus cloud is known as the anvil cloud because of its shape.
  • The shape of these incredibly large, towering clouds is what makes them so significant.
  • They are tall clouds with a top that literally looks like an anvil.
  • They are dark and looming as well.
  • With these clouds often comes lightning and a lot of precipitation.

How common are cumulonimbus incus clouds?

Thankfully, the anvil cloud is not a very common thing. It only appears when there is a storm in the air with large cumulonimbus clouds. This storm has to be mature and already very bad, but steady in its rain and thundering for a period of time. This is a cloud that signifies a mature storm.

Where can I see a cumulonimbus incus cloud?

If you want to spot a cumulonimbus incus cloud in the sky, go outside during a bad, but steady thunderstorm. Look at the large, looming clouds in the sky that are probably moving fairly slowly across the sky. This cloud will have a flat top and look like a giant anvil ready to drop down on the ground. When you spot one of these, of course, you will want to go inside and possibly seek cover, depending on how severe the storm is.

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