A strange cloud in the shape of a jellyfish photographed from space!

It’s an amazing image taken by a meteorological satellite a few years ago: when viewed from space, the shape suggests a giant jellyfish floating in our atmosphere!

This strange cloud phenomenon was photographed by satellite NASANASA and some NOAANOAA in September 2018 in central Mali, Africa. A cloud that stretches over 300 kilometers in length is a thunderstorm. This is a gigantic cumulonimbuswith a jellyfish head, but also tentacles!

The gigantic cloud of jellyfish that stretches 300 kilometers above Africa is actually a thunderstorm. © NASA Earth Observatory, Suomi National Partnership in Polar Orbit

The head is apparently the top of the cloud, an anvil, with an arched shape around it. Tentacles are what meteorologistsmeteorologists Americans call a outflow boundary : descent fromairair cold, from the cloud, towards the earth. This descent of cold air gives rise to front gust, these very sudden violent gusts of wind that occur before a storm. Around it, less dense air was forced up into the sky outflow boundary, which allowed this cloud arc to form behind it. Ultimately, it is this whole complex mechanism, NASA explainedwhich led to this complete form of jellyfish.

Jellyfish cause sandstorms

This very peculiar cloud shape is more often seen in very dry areas such as Africa. A continent known for being home to the most violent storms on the planet, along with South America. It is not uncommon for these cloud jellyfish to be responsible strong sandstorms : in this case, the cold air that descends lifts sand from the ground and gives rise to gigantic wallswalls dust.

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