Awesomulonimbus Clouds

Here is something which you could have seen if you were in Chicago on July 10th, 2008. Which, circumstance of circumstances, I was! I popped in somewhere for a restroom break, and it was super nice out.

When I popped back out (that’s how I enter and leave buildings — popping), I saw this bad boy coming at me real fast:

That is a wall of solid storm comin atcha.

It could be CG, but it's so not.  It is real.

Right after I pulled out my camera, I felt the wind picking up quite a bit and heard tornado sirens whir to life. I only had time to snag those two shots before it was overhead.

These are known as struthionimbus clouds.

It was a large overhanging Shelf of Swirling Stormy Darkness. It was moving incredibly fast and super low, and the coulds right behind it were very confused, swirling around like crazy.

This formation is known as a cumuloswirlus cloud.

What you miss in these shots is the amazing moving 3-D-ness of all of this.

Another shot of some spinnostratus clouds.

Actually, after the initial wall passed, the cloads went up quite a ways. I felt like I was in a giant cloud dome.

A frisbee!  That's the simile I want.  It looks like a giant dangerous cloud frisbee.

During these shots the wind was starting to whip things about, and it became markedly cooler. Not long after the above shot, the rain began to start. I’ll leave you with perhaps my favorite shot:

This combination of spinnostratus and cumuloswirlus clouds is called an altocirronimbulus.

Just thought you all might enjoy seeing this.