07 January 2010


Known as “flying cigar” and also as “the great cigar of the clouds”, it became famous during the so-called French “flap” of 1954.

Much a matter of press sensationalism and some influx of intelligence disinformation than verifiable cases dealing with something strange in the sky, the French “flap” paved the way for the so-called “orthotenic lines”, an attractive but artificial proposal developed by the then famous Aimé Michel.

Well, here this picture shows a big “flying cigar”.

The picture was published by NASA.

A Roll Cloud Over Uruguay
Credit & Copyright: Daniela Mirner Eberl

Explanation: What kind of cloud is this? A roll cloud. These rare long clouds may form near advancing cold fronts. In particular, a downdraft from an advancing storm front can cause moist warm air to rise, cool below its dew point, and so form a cloud. When this happens uniformly along an extended front, a roll cloud may form. Roll clouds may actually have air circulating along the long horizontal axis of the cloud. A roll cloud is not thought to be able to morph into a tornado. Unlike a similar shelf cloud, a roll cloud, a type of Arcus cloud, is completely detached from their parent cumulonimbus cloud. Pictured above, a roll cloud extends far into the distance in 2009 January above Las Olas Beach in Maldonado, Uruguay.

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