Mini Cloud Atlas
True Pilei and String Lenticulars
Yet another cloud arrangement defies the bounds of easy categorization! Flying over and between deeply convective clouds (towering cumuli and cumulonimbi), I spotted a pileus cap atop a deep tower--then another, and another. Finally came pileus-like streamers between convective clouds, and atop none (foreground). Were they pilei somehow orphaned or advected from their convective-forcing origins without losing condensation? Were they elongated lenticulars, a hybrid of the pilei and lenticulars, or neither (a cloud species unto itself)? Two factors might be crucial here: 1) the non-convectively underlain streamers were at comparable altitude, and likely in a similar thermal and humidity layer, as the true pilei, and 2) they formed a gently arching shape between towers. Those factors suggest a lenticular standing-wave process for the non-convectively associated cloud strings.
Over northern Louisiana (29 Nov 10) Looking SW