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Cumulonimbus clouds

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Cumulonimbus cloud, characterized by strong vertical development in the form of mountains or huge towers topped at least partially by a smooth, flat, often fibrous anvil. Also known colloquially as a "thunderhead." The flat, spreading top of a Cb (cumulonimbus) is often shaped like an anvil and therefore named anvil. Thunderstorm anvils may spread hundreds of miles downwind from the thunderstorm itself, and sometimes may spread upwind (mainly with very strong updrafts).

Cumulonimbus on June 6 1999



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