Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mammatus clouds danced over Ortonville!

Early Friday evening, July 23 a severe weather event crossed SE Michigan. Although downtown Ortonville was spared the brunt of this round of storms (more coming today, Saturday,July 24)  Brandon Township and Ortonville was treated to a colorful airshow spectacle of Mother Nature: a line of ominous appearing mammatus clouds that appeared around 8:45 pm and remained into darkness.  Mammatus clouds are also known as mammatocumulus clouds: essentially meaning breast clouds.  The name comes from the Latin word mamma (breast or udder), since many see a resemblance in shape between the pattern of the pouches of these clouds dangling down from another cloud formation spawned by the storm and human breasts. According to the folks at NOAA indivudal lobes (breasts) in the formation can last from a few minutes to over an hour.  Contrary to popular belief these clouds do not generally mean that tornadic weather is coming, for they most often appear at the end of severe weather event. But sometimes Mother Nature can be full of surprise and another powerful storm front is right behind their passing. (These photos were all from the parking lot of Brandon Fire headquarters in downtown Ortonville.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photos Jonathan. It appears that the clouds are ready to burst. That would have been awesome to see.

July 24, 2010 at 7:21 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family watched as these cloud formations appeared - really a spectacular site. The color associated with the event was equally amazing. It was a yellow/gold hue reflecting from the heavens. Glad you featured this event in your column - keep up the good work :)

July 27, 2010 at 9:51 AM 

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