Sinister-looking clouds that appeared over central Singapore on Nov. 2, 2020, which proceeded to unleash a torrential downpour flooding parts of the island, are, in fact, more normal and common than they actually look.
The Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said the ominous sight of the encroaching clouds, known as shelf cloud, have a scientific explanation.
“The formation of the shelf cloud on Nov. 2, 2020, was due to strong daytime heating of land areas coupled with convergence of winds over Singapore and the surrounding vicinity,” MSS said.
MSS also clarified that the weather phenomenon caught on videos and photos was not directly linked to the super typhoon Goni that smashed into parts of the Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 1.
The cloud formation seen in Singapore is a cumulonimbus arcus cloud, or commonly referred to as "shelf cloud".
These clouds are observed in Singapore during an intense thunderstorm, MSS added.
“They typically form along the leading edge or gust front of the cumulonimbus cloud (dense, towering convective clouds that give rise to thunderstorms), when the surrounding warm moist air rises and condensation takes place, creating the ragged edges of the cloud.”
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