Key Takeaways:

  1. Mammatus clouds are pouch-like structures that form beneath thunderstorm anvil clouds and are named after their resemblance to breasts or udders.
  2. They are not a separate cloud type but an extension of other cloud types, and they appear in various sizes, ranging from faint to well-defined formations.
  3. The formation of Mammatus clouds is still a subject of scientific debate, with several theories proposed, including large-scale anvil subsidence, subcloud evaporation, and local-scale hydrometeor fallout.
  4. Contrary to popular belief, Mammatus clouds are not direct indicators of severe storm weather or tornadoes, but heavy rainfall and thunderstorms may follow their sightings.
  5. Mammatus clouds can be observed in various cloud types, including cumulonimbus, altostratus, altocumulus, cirrus, and stratocumulus clouds.

Mammatus clouds, named after their resemblance to breasts or udders, are captivating formations that occur beneath thunderstorm anvil clouds. Despite their unusual appearance, they are not a distinct cloud type but rather a feature found in various clouds. Meteorologists have long been fascinated by these enigmatic pouches that appear in the sky, ranging in size and shape.

Scientists have proposed several theories to explain the formation of Mammatus clouds, including large-scale anvil subsidence, subcloud evaporation, local-scale hydrometeor fallout, Rayleigh-Taylor instability, and Rayleigh-Benard-like convection. However, the exact mechanism remains a subject of ongoing research.

Contrary to common belief, Mammatus clouds are not direct indicators of severe storm weather. Instead, they often accompany heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. These beautiful formations can be seen during sunsets when their lobes are illuminated, creating a stunning display in the sky.

Mammatus clouds can be observed in different cloud types, including cumulonimbus, altostratus, altocumulus, cirrus, and stratocumulus clouds. Their appearance adds an element of intrigue to the study of clouds, offering a glimpse into the complexities of atmospheric phenomena.

So, the next time you find yourself admiring the ever-changing canvas of the sky, keep an eye out for the alluring Mammatus clouds and marvel at their unique and mesmerizing beauty.

Read full article on TRVST

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

Credits: borisjordanphoto

#6

Credits: georgeduluth

#7

Filipp Romanov in Yuzhno-Morskoy, Russia, captured these mammatus clouds on June 4, 2023. Thank you, Filipp!

#8

Peg Yates in Woodbridge, Virginia, took this image on August 22, 2022. Peg wrote: “Mammatus clouds in the western sky when the sun was setting.”

#9

Michael Geib caught these mammatus clouds from Akron, Ohio, on July 20, 2022.

#10

Christy Turner caught this photo of graduate Cheyann on June 13, 2020, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Christy wrote: “Incredible mammatus clouds and a rainbow help complete a graduation photo shoot. Since Cheyann didn’t get a proper occasion to wear her beautiful graduation gown, we scheduled a photo shoot at her grandparent’s farm. What we didn’t count on was nature delivering up an incredible backdrop post-storm.”

#11

Marlane Burns captured this image on May 15, 2020, near Robert Lee, Texas. She said: “Mammatus clouds preceding a northern thunderstorm that came out of nowhere! The wind blew the flies away and the rain settled the dust!”

#12

Adelina Bathorja in Tirane, Albania, captured these clouds on May 14, 2020. Adelina wrote: “For the first time ever I saw mammatus clouds. Just, wow! It was a spectacular view of cellular and jellyfish patterns.”

#13

Peter Lowenstein captured these spectacular mammatus clouds in Mutare, Zimbabwe, on March 23, 2020. He wrote: “I took an early morning walk in the hope of catching a glimpse of the old moon rising. Instead there was a surprise appearance of mammatus clouds on the underside of a sunrise-illuminated band of altostratus cloud above.”

4.8 5 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kenneth
Kenneth
10 months ago

TOTALLY AWESOME!