188.8.131.52. Cumulus congestus (Towering cumulus)
Cumulus congestus clouds form in deep moist convection, as an intermediate stage between cumulus mediocris and cumulonimbus – a cumulus mediocris will grow into a cumulus congestus if enough convective energy is available. In aviation cumulus congestus is also known as towering cumulus (International Civil Aviation Organization). Cumulus congestus is a sign of a very unstable atmosphere, and may lead to formation of thunderstorms.
- Typically taller than wide.
- Air in the cloud has not yet reached freezing, retaining the sharp, cauliflower shape.
- Great vertical development.
- Reaching up to 6 km high (20 000 ft).
- Frequently produce rainfall, rarely produce intense showers.
- Form from cumulus mediocris.
- Also may produce landspouts and waterspouts.