Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small cumulus or alto-cumulus cloud upon which the sun is shining so that the top warms and rises rapidly, while the cooler bottom follows slowly, the whole cloud assuming the form of rising balloon, until it reaches some upper level where it overflows and forms a thin stratum of false cirrus, alto-stratus, or analogous cloud.
“And over all ascended the horrid roar of ruin beyond description, while from that misshapen balloon-cloud, with its flattened top, the electric fluid shone and flashed, now in great sheets as of flame, then in vicious spurts and darts as though innumerable snakes of fire had been turned loose by the winds.”
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