Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 9:20 EDT
Cumulonimbus Cloud Over Africa
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Cumulonimbus Cloud Over Africa

April 25, 2010
High above the African continent, tall, dense cumulonimbus clouds, meaning 'column rain' in Latin, are the result of atmospheric instability. The clouds can form alone, in clusters, or along a cold front in a squall line. The high energy of these storms is associated with heavy precipitation, lightning, high wind speeds and tornadoes.