The idea of floating on a cloud is supposed to engender happy thoughts, but here comes science to ruin things for the dreamers.
Floating on a particular 2018 collection of clouds would mean imminent death because of the temperatures at the top, and may signal more dangerous weather events are coming.
In recently published research, scientists said a tropical storm-cloud system that year reached –111C and is thought to be a record low temperature.
That storm measurement, on Dec. 29, 2018, south of the equator in the western Pacific, was made by a passing American satellite, Noaa-20.
Some background from a BBC News story:
“When a powerful upward draft reaches the top of the lower atmosphere, or troposphere, it will … spread out to form that classic anvil shape. But if the storm is very energetic, the upward movement of air can punch through the troposphere’s ceiling … .”
The event falls in line with an increase in extreme-weather events.
The long-term data suggests that these super-cold thunderstorms may be increasing in frequency. In fact, there have been as many the past three years as there were in the 13 years before that.
And, for global citizens, the colder the storm, the more likely it is to produce hazardous weather: hail, lightning and flooding.
“Over the last 20 years, it seems these super-cold thunderstorms are becoming a little bit more common,” Dr. Simon Proud, a research fellow at the National Centre for Earth Observation and Oxford University, UK., told BBC News.
“It’s interesting that in this part of the world, the tropopause is actually getting warmer, so we might expect to see warmer clouds, not colder clouds, which likely means we’re seeing more extreme storms … than we used to.”