Stormy Sunset

Thought I’d share a couple of photographs of tonight’s amazing sunset.

Panorama stitched from a series of photographs taken at the lake near our house. The colors faded within seconds after I took the photos--in fact, you can see the color a little better on the left than the right, as it was already fading as I was setting up my shots.

Panorama stitched from a series of photographs taken at the lake near our house. The colors faded within seconds after I took the photos–in fact, you can see the color a little better on the left than the right, as it was already fading as I was setting up my shots.

Mammatus clouds from a passing thunderstorm moving eastward at sunset.

Mammatus clouds from a passing thunderstorm moving eastward at sunset.

It’s been far too long since I’ve seen the beauty of thunderstorms as I saw today. We are in the midst of severe weather season here, but it seems like we’re getting a bit of a late start this year. I forgot how giddy I can get when in the presence of a mature thunderstorm; I am reminded at these moments why I decided to study meteorology, yearning to climb inside these storms and figure out what makes them tick.

These spectacular formations are mammatus clouds, the “upside down” undulating clouds that are most easily recognized at sunset, when the low sun angle creates the shadows necessary to clearly define the edge of the protuberances. They usually appear on the underside of the anvil cloud associated with a mature thunderstorm.

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