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Cumulus congestus (Cu con) - Maze 1889


Strongly sprouting Cumulus with generally sharp outlines and often great vertical extent. The bulging upper part of Cumulus congestus frequently resembles a cauliflower. Cumulus congestus may produce precipitation in the form of showers of rain, snow or snow pellets. In the tropics, they often release abundant rain in the form of showers.

Cumulus congestus sometimes resemble narrow, very high towers. The tops of these towers may detach themselves successively from the main body of the cloud. They are then carried away by the wind and usually rapidly disintegrate, occasionally producing virga.

Cumulus congestus usually results from the development of Cumulus mediocris or, infrequently, Altocumulus castellanus or Stratocumulus castellanus.

Cumulus congestus often develops into Cumulonimbus; this transformation is:

  • Visually revealed by the smooth appearance or by the fibrous or striated texture of its upper portion
  • Apparent when lightning, thunder or showers of hail are observed


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