Beautiful and Dramatic Thunderhead Clouds

After receiving a lot of great feedback from the post 12 Awe-Inspiring Photos of Lightning, we decided to follow it up by showcasing the stunning clouds that are associated with nature's light show. Called cumulonimbus or thunderheads, they're the most dramatic looking clouds with their tall and imposing shape. They grow vertically instead of horizontally, forming into dense towers that can reach 20,000 feet, though they've also been known to go as high as 75,000 feet. (In comparison, cruising altitude for commercial airliners is 30,000 feet.)

The mature cumulonimbus cloud has a distinctive flat, anvil shaped top which is formed when the their tops encounter high winds, which cause them to spread out sideways. The presence of thunderheads means that severe weather conditions like heavy rains, hail, lightning and thunder are imminent. So, as stunning as they might be to photograph, they also carry with them a certain amount of risk.

Today, we've rounded up 25 of the most fantastic images of thunderheads we could find. From the beautiful and colorful to the dark and ominous, enjoy nature's beauty at its finest.

Above photo credit:號獃


Photo credit: Nate Zeman

Photo credit: Greg Ness

Photo credit: Mark Duffy

Photo credit: Loren Rye

Photo credit: Scott Hudson

Photo credit: Steve Coleman

Photo credit: Robin Lakeman

Photo credit: Stephen McNulty

Photo credit: Li Xin

Photo credit: Mike Olbinksi

Photo credit: Niccol Ubalducci

Photo credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli

Photo credit: Matt Granz

Photo credit: Bradlee

Photo credit: Jeff Berkes

Photo credit: Mark Riddick

Photo credit: Mike Hollingshead

Photo credit: James Bo Insogna

Photo credit: James Bo Insogna

Photo credit: Steven Maguire

Photo credit: Jason Clarke

Photo credit: Giovanni Tarantini

Photo credit: James Collier

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