Image by 0olong
Mamma, or mammatus: relatively rare clouds which usually form when pockets of colder air drop from the base of a particularly unstable cumulonimbus. They are associated with particularly violent storms.

Another old, scanned photo of mine (hence that white line, which I suppose there’s probably a Photoshop filter somewhere to deal with?) – as I recall, this one is from when I was living in Essex, and the storm (shortly before sunset) hadn’t quite hit yet.

6 thoughts on “Mamma

  1. Heh – it’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time, but right now I’m about two thirds of the way through Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s fantastic book The Cloudspotter’s Guide, so I’m paying even more attention to them than usually. Right now I’ve got dozens of cloud pictures stored in my camera, but I haven’t had a chance to download, let alone edit them…!

  2. we get those reasonably regularly around here – mostly in the autumn and winter – not much this year as we had a dry season – not associated strongly with tornados here

  3. Thanks qp – well, if you don’t see a lot of tornadoes then you wouldn’t see them strongly associated! They’re pretty much unheard of in Britain, unlike Mammatus, so to the extent that they are strongly related, it’s obviously more that they frequently accompany tornadoes than that they are frequently accompanied by them, if that makes sense!

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