Look at this spectacular iridescent pileus cap over a gigantic cumulonimbus in Porto Ferreira, Brazil on Jan 14. It’s like the cloud is being irradiated from above, like a sign from heaven.

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This impressive cumulonimbus is capped by a giant iridescent cloud. via Facebook

A pileus or cap cloud, is a small, horizontal, lenticular cloud appearing above a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud. Pilei are formed by strong updraft at lower altitudes, acting upon moist air above, causing the air to cool to its dew point.

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Pileus clouds are usually indicators of severe weather. via Facebook

Pileus clouds are usually indicators of severe weather. And if the ‘cap’ is situated atop a cumulus cloud, it often foreshadows transformation into a cumulonimbus cloud, as pilei indicate a strong updraft within the cloud.

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The unexpected pileus cloud appeared before a storm above a giant cloud tower. via Facebook

Pilei can also form above ash clouds and pyrocumulus clouds from erupting volcanoes, and above some mushroom clouds of high-yield nuclear detonations.

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