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Like cumulus; generally descriptive of all clouds, the principal characteristic of which is vertical development in the form of rising mounds, domes, or towers. This is the contrasting form to the horizontally extended STRATIFORM types

Related Terms


A succession of tide staffs on a sloping shore so placed that the vertical graduations on the several staffs will form a continuous scale referred to the same datum.


A building truss in the form of a K due to the orientation of the vertical member and two oblique members in each panel.


Small waves formed on the surface of water by the meeting of opposing tidal currents or by a tidal current crossing an irregular bottom. Vertical oscillation, rather than progressive waves, is characteristic of tide rips.


The spreading out of the hull form from the central vertical plans, usually in the front, much like the end of a trumpet


Descriptive of clouds of extensive horizontal development, as contrasted to the vertically developed CUMULIFORM types.


A cloud type in the form of individual, detached elements which are generally dense and possess sharp non-fibrous outlines. These elements develop vertically, appearing as rising mounds, domes, or towers, the upper parts of which often resemble a cauliflower. The sunlit parts of these clouds are mostly brilliant white; their bases are relatively dark and nearly horizontal. Near the horizon the vertical development of cumulus often causes the individual clouds to appear merged. If precipitation occurs, it is usually of a showery nature. Various effects of wind, illumination, etc. may modify many of the above characteristics. Strong winds may shred the clouds, often tearing away the cumulus tops to form the species fractus.


In plumbing, a trap in the form of a cylinder with a vertical axis that is fitted with a removable cover plate.


Magnitudes defining a point relative to two perpendicular lines, called AXES. The magnitudes indicate the perpendicular distance from each axis. The vertical distance is called the ordinate and the horizontal distance the abscissa. This is a form of CARTESIAN COORDINATES.


Wisps or streaks of water or ice particles falling out of a cloud but evaporating before reaching the earth’s surface as precipitation. Virga is frequently seen trailing from altocumulus and altostratus clouds, but also is discernible below the bases of high-level cumuliform clouds from which precipitation is falling into a dry subcloud layer. It typically exhibits a hooked form in which the streaks descend nearly vertically just under the precipitation source but appear to be almost horizontal at their lower extremities. Such curvature of virga can be produced simply by effects of strong vertical windshear, but ordinarily it results from the fact that droplet or crystal evaporation decreases the particle terminal fall velocity near the ends of the streaks. Also called FALL STREAKS, PRECIPITATION TRAILS.


An exceptionally dense cloud of great vertical development, occurring either as an isolated cloud or one of a line or wall of clouds with separated upper portions. These clouds appear as mountains or huge towers, at least a part of the upper portions of which are usually smooth, fibrous, striated, and almost flattened. This part often spreads out in the form of an anvil or plume. Under the base of cumulonimbus, which often is very dark, there frequently exists virga, precipitation, and low, ragged clouds, either merged with it or not. Its precipitation is often heavy and always of a showery nature. The usual occurrence of lightning and thunder within or from this cloud leads to its being popularly called THUNDERCLOUD and THUNDERHEAD. The latter term usually refers to only the upper portion of the cloud.

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