Mammatus Clouds by Lyndsay Tapases

Last evening, if you were in the right place at the right time, you may have witnessed a special and rare type of cloud formation around the area of the dying thunderstorms in Bedford county.

The clouds may have looked to you like balls or pouches hanging from the sky. These clouds are called Mammatus clouds and are found in the vicinity of dying severe thunderstorms. The look to them is created when cooled air from the dying storm sinks and collides with warmer air below it. Basically think of the cold air punching down into the cloud and creating a bunch of pockets that we see the bottom side of. From below, they may look like pouches.

Last night, I happened to be in the right place at the right time and was rewarded with a beautiful display of Mammatus clouds at sunset. I had the sunset to the west, the cloud display to the east, and the ongoing thunderstorms with a darkened sky and lightning strikes visible to the south. It was quite a display and a very exciting experience for this weather nerd! All photographs were taken by me.