Clouds Over the Boston Harbour During the Tornado Watch

"Mammatocumulus, also known as mammatus clouds (meaning "mammary glands" because they resemble the breasts of a woman"), are lumpy pouches of ice and water hanging underneath the base of a cloud. When these clouds occur with cumulonimbus, they are generally an indicator of a particularly strong storm or a possible tornado. There are numerous theories about the formation of mammatus clouds , some complete opposites of others. No matter what the cause is, these are wonderful clouds to observe." www.universetoday.com/76267/mammatus-clouds/ adapted by FSS

 

Observe the mammatocumulus clouds we did, mesmerised in awe, amazed and amused, almost ignoring the tornado warnings. The clouds seemed to be spreading from a balloon-like patch of brightly illuminated sky to the east. It was quarter past seven in the evening and this fascinating horizon was bathing in a sunshine. However, that was the eastern sky and it was supposed to be a twilight. The sun was setting down in a diagonaly opposite direction, so what we were watching could not be the late-spring sunset. What in the world was going on!?

 

My wife saw a hand of Almighty protecting us from the impending tornado. "Look, you can actually see the hand, palm, and fingers high above the clouds!" My son was persuaded that there was an unidentified flying object right in the middle of the brightly lit patch of blinding whiteness surrounded by the strange, gray and dark clouds. "The UFO is emitting some kind of radiation which produces these strange clouds!" . . . And me . . . I settled for a rather prosaic opinion that it ought to be some explinataion to the strange natural phenomenon. Later, I gave it the name too: mammatocumulus!

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