'Cloud Torch' Structure

... When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2
Structure Description
Global Occurrence
Observation Diagrams

Home > Contents > 'Cloud Torch' Structure - Description

"Cloud Torch" Structure (CTS)

This structure was called in such a way, because it looks from above always as a torch.
It contains the convective clouds as a "nucleus", which rise upward intensively with warm air.
An anvil cloud emerges.
In the height of 7-8 km and more at the edge of the tropopause this anvil clouds will be blown by the wind (often in opposite direction than "nucleus" flows).
This 'bow' can be much longer than the "nucleus".
The further air departs from raised flow, the more it cools down, becomes heavier and sinks into warmer layers, where its humidity dissolves.
That is the result that the environment is relative drying.

Such structures emerge mostly above the ocean, not far from low pressure close to warm fronts.
The "nucleus" consists normally from several convective cells, so called Convective Cloud Cluster.
It reaches the height of 12-15 km and more.
Its albedo is 0.9-1.
The "bow" can reach some hundred kilometres.
It normally located on the height of 7-11 km, has a lower albedo and consists of cirrus, cumulonimbus, cirrostratus and altostratus clouds.

The "Cloud Torch" structure can be often observed.
This structure can be seen mostly above the western part of Pacific, north, northeast part of the Indian Ocean and around the Central America coast.
In addition, it can be discovered in centre of the Pacific and close to the east coast of Madagascar.
But it never spreads over +30° and only rarely -15° latitude.

This structure brings tempests.

Global Occurrence Diagram
Global occurrence of 'Cloud Torch' Structure