Weather Flashback

September 2022 - Orphan Anvil (April 29, 2022) 


The high layer of cloudiness in this scene is an orphan anvil. Orphan anvils occur when the lower portion of a cumulonimbus cloud dissipates; leaving behind the upper portion of the cumulonimbus cloud.  Orphan anvils form when cumulus convection below is no longer strong enough to support updraft. This could be due entrainment of (much) drier air at mid levels of the cumulonimbus cloud and/or the movement of a cumulonimbus cloud away from its updraft source. 

Plate 1. Orphan Anvil. Captured on April 29, 2022 at 6:25pm CDT. Looking south from 34.96°, -97.65°.