What were those weird clouds in Central Florida?

Ominous-looking clouds most common in Plains states

Asperatus clouds in Mims (cropped) (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Did you see them? Ominous-looking, wavy clouds known as asperatus clouds took over parts of the Central Florida sky Saturday.

These have also been known as undulatus asperatus. The harmless clouds form when there is instability aloft and relatively stable air near the surface. They oftentimes form after rain and thunderstorms and are more commonly found in the Plains states.

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Asperatus clouds in Mims

These clouds are characterized by having well-defined wave-like structures on their underside. Differing levels of light and cloud thickness can create very dramatic visuals.

These types of clouds mimic what ocean waves would look like if viewed from under the surface of the water.

Asperatus clouds are rare and relatively new at being recognized as its own cloud formation. It was proposed as a cloud in 2009 and added to the International Cloud Atlas a supplementary feature in 2017.


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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.