Unfortunately I had no reason to believe I would see any atmospheric phenomena when I went to Brazil so I didn't take the camera. I started noticing them right on the first day. (For those who care, I noticed them in BH, my mother's city.
Every time it rains you can see clouds changing altitude before, during, and after, by way of tendrils. I couldn't see if they were clouds going up one level -that is what it seemed to be. These tendrils go up to the next level and stand there, vertically, and form a little bubble on the higher altitude, which made me believe that the lower-level cloud was cooling and going up. However, every time I saw them rain started again -it's winter and it rains a lot. So the tendrils are an unreported phenomenon. I have never seen any reference to them in the literature, though I haven't read specifically high level literature on clouds.
3 days ago there was a new phenomenon that stunned me. Sunset was starting and I looked up and saw about 5 or 6 small, somewhat squarish puffs of clouds right on top of my head, almost the same as the stratocumulus seen here:
The sky was clear except for some unremarkable clouds to the south and these puffs on top of my head Everyone was making dinner and no one wanted to look at them, so I went to the back of the house, facing northwest, where I had a 160-degree view of the sky.
What was there was totally different than the sky in the front of the house. I had a single planet on the far left. Long wispy clouds to the far left, above the planet. They weren't reddish, though the sunset was happening on that side of the sky. Immediately in front of me, about 100 degrees from that, I had a rain cloud. It was raining in that part of the sky, very far away but still within the city -no lightning there.
To the right of that, a rain cloud system with a giant tendril going up, but much farther away. The *lower* part of this cloud was reddish (!!), while the upper part was dark gray (which indicates that the cloud is thick and so is the tendril. Now if the sun is to the left and whatever it touches is bright white, as could be seen, I don't see why the *lower* part of this cloud was reddish and the upper part was dark gray. When the rain started there, there was a lot of lightning, much more than normal.
Then, green sprites started happening, going from the ground to the sky and lighting it up with bright green light. Since I had never seen it happen, and since I know the cloud was way too far away and big enough that the sound of a few lightning strikes that followed the green sprites took about 15 or 20 seconds to reach me, I knew there was something going on in this cloud that I hadn't ever seen before. One of the longest flashes I have ever seen lasted for about 2 seconds. I know that is unusual because youtube doesn't show any of them that lasts this long.
To the right of that, by the way, the sky was clear and a very few mid-altitude *bright white* clouds. The squarish puffs on top of the house were a border of the giant red-bellied cloud on the other side of the house.
So I had a planet on the left, right next to the sunset, pink cloud wisps, blue sky, a rain system close by, then a giant cloud system with a reddish belly, weird straight lines that are hard to describe without photos, heavy lightning strikes -all very far away- and clear sky again.
I haven't done any research yet, but tendrils are a lot more regular than this, for instance:
and they are closer to fingerlets in the regularity of their ascent.
Help! Is there a cloud expert or two around? We want more! Particularly, I want to know if it is normal to have green sprites to the north of a rain cloud while the southern underbelly gets reddish (ok, ok, that was the *noctilucent* part of the cloud, except reddish and very, very low altitude.)
(By the way, someone had my bright idea and I want to wring his neck:
This may be the start of matter synthesis! Wow!)