Definition: (noun) An extremely dense, vertically developed cumulus with a relatively hazy outline and a glaciated top extending to great heights, usually producing heavy rains, thunderstorms, or hailstorms.
Usage: The cumulonimbus looming above our heads did not bode well for the future of our barbecue.
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As storm clouds develop, the temperature at the top of the clouds becomes much cooler than that at the bottom. For reasons that scientists still do not understand, this temperature difference results in the accumulation of negatively charged particles near the base and positively charged particles near the top of the storm cloud. This buildup of electrical charge causes a high-voltage discharge in the form of lightning.
The ancient Greeks called the seven days preceding and the seven days following the Winter Solstice the “Halcyon Days.” Greek mythology has it that Halcyone (or Alcyone), Ceyx’s wife and one of Aeolus’s daughters, drowned herself when she learned her husband had drowned. The gods took pity on her and transformed them both into kingfishers. Zeus commanded the seas to be still during these days, and it was considered a period when sailors could navigate in safety. Today, the expression “halcyon days” has come to mean a period of tranquillity, often used as a nostalgic reference to …read more