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A cumulonimbus incus cloud, showing the characteristic anvil-top shape the cloud type displays
|Genus||Cumulonimbus (heap, cloud/severe rain)|
|Appearance||Large flat-top cloud|
|Precipitation cloud?||Yes, often intense|
A cumulonimbus incus (Latin incus, "anvil") also known as an anvil cloud is a cumulonimbus cloud which has reached the level of stratospheric stability and has formed the characteristic flat, anvil-top shape. It signifies the thunderstorm in its mature stage, succeeding the cumulonimbus calvus stage. Cumulonimbus incus is a sub-form of Cumulonimbus capillatus.
A cumulonimbus incus is a mature thunderstorm cloud generating many dangerous elements.
- Lightning; this storm cloud is capable of producing bursts of cloud to ground lightning.
- Hail; hailstones may fall from this cloud if it's a highly unstable environment (which favors a more vigorous storm updraft).
- Heavy rain; this cloud may drop several inches of rain in a short amount of time. This can cause flash flooding.
- Strong wind; gale-force winds from a downburst may occur under this cloud.
- Tornadoes; in severe cases (most commonly with supercells), it can produce tornadoes.
Cumulonimbus clouds can be powerful. If the correct atmospheric conditions are met, they can grow into a supercell storm. This cloud may be a single-cell thunderstorm or one cell in a multicellular thunderstorm. They are capable of producing severe storm conditions for a short amount of time.
In popular culture
- It is a key plot point in the anime Tenki no Ko (Weathering With You).
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