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Photographer's Note

One of our summer pastimes is to look out for signs of rain. In an essentially desert country where rains are seasonal and drought a constant concern, rain is always a time of rejoicing. I have know children and adults alike to rush out into dashing rain and dance about! Many a time we have jumped into the car and headed to a dry riverbed to watch the coming of the water. Lying in bed at night watching the lightening and hearing thunder claps is magical and I cannot describe the smell in the air as the rain approaches. (ozone perhaps?) After the rain the land looks fresh and clean, dust is washed from the plants and the air is clear.

This shot shows a Cumulonimbus Incus (Latin for heap-raincloud anvil) a typical cumulonimbus cloud which has expanded to the tropopause due to powerful updrafts and convection and which has fully developed an anvil shape. The tops of cumulonimbus incus clouds usually reach 10500m in altitude but may grow to 18000m, particularly near the equator; this is dependent upon the altitude of the tropopause at the location of cloud formation. As updrafts do not extend past the tropopause, the cloud is thrust upward until this point, where it is forced to spread radially into a characteristic "anvil" composed of ice crystals.

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Additional Photos by Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2806 W: 84 N: 6959] (31631)
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