Photographers Capture the Fascinatingly Rare Mammatus Cloud Phenomenon

Several sky-gazers have had the opportunity to photograph fascinatingly unusual mammatus clouds, which are protrusions that hang from the underside of air masses. Composed mostly of ice, these pouches can extend hundreds of miles in any direction and are only visible for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, making them a rare sight. Contrary to popular belief, these projections do not cause tornados, but they are unique because they are formed by sinking air instead of the rising air that typically creates clouds. In order for these curious bumps to come together, atmospheric conditions have to be just right. “They form when there is a lot of turbulence within the cloud, often alongside a thunderstorm. It's not a cloud in its own right, but a strange pattern of pouches that can form underneath a cloud when conditions are right,” explained weather forecaster Jennifer Bartram to Mirror

Luckily, quite a few people have been able to witness the mammatus cloud phenomenon, capturing snapshots of the extraordinary spectacle and posting it online for all to appreciate. Several images feature sunsets and incredible views over houses, displaying the beauty of this interesting sky scenery. 

Photographs by Pam Rice Phillips, Matt Roberts, Jim Nix, J Labrador, Lorrie McClanahanand Hobiesan 

via [This Isn't Happiness, Mirror, EarthSky]  

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