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12 Months, 12 Pictures, 12 Stories: July

Talk of the weather will do: July brought a host of weather stories, including some ominous clouds that may represent an entirely new kind of cloud.

Asperatus clouds

The stories that stood out to me in July were all weather stories: the hailstorm that wrecked the Garfield Park Conservatory (its most lasting legacy will probably be car hoods; seriously, just look around), a thunderstorm that knocked out power for 600,000 (and foreshadowed the ComEd smart-grid rate-hike debate) the fortunately moderate heat wave. Alex Garcia recorded something completely unharmful but just as ominous: asperatus clouds, which may someday soon be an official new form of cloud. It’s weather history in the making:

The Society has agreed to gather detailed weather data on the day and in the location where the asperatus clouds have been seen. Analysis of the meteorological situation will uncover exactly what is causing them. It is likely that the undulating and lumpy underside is caused by warm and cold air meeting at the boundary between the lower and middle atmosphere. It shares some similarities with existing formations such as the more regular waves of undulatus clouds and the hanging pouches of mamma clouds.

Photograph: Chicago Tribune

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