Australian Weather Calendar: August 2018

August photograph by Asbjorn 'Aussie' Kanck

Asbjorn 'Aussie' Kanck captured this photo of a Qantas flight approaching Adelaide under a layer of a rare cloud type called altocumulus stratiformis opacus asperitas. Altocumulus refers to the height and cloud type (cumulus cloud in the middle level of the atmosphere), stratiformis indicates it has formed in a layer and opacus denotes the cloud is thick enough to mask the sun. Asperitas, from the Latin for roughen, refers to the wave-like feature underneath the cloud. One theory of how these clouds occur is that when mammatus clouds sink into an area of strong winds, it causes these rough, lumpy formations.