Video: The Mysteries of Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus clouds, Ft. Worth, TX

Mammatus clouds, Ft. Worth, TX by Lars Plougmann


Mammatus, also known as mammatocumulus (meaning "mammary cloud" or "breast cloud"), is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. The name mammatus, derived from the Latin mamma (meaning "udder" or "breast"), refers to a resemblance between the characteristic shape of these clouds and the breast of a woman.

Mammatus are long-lived if the sinking air contains large drops and snow crystals since larger particles require greater amounts of energy for evaporation to occur. Over time, the cloud droplets do eventually evaporate and the mammatus dissolve.

Mammatus clouds Rybnik september 27, 2014 by DreamLike Elf
   
Mammatus clouds by Jeff Harrison
Mammatus clouds by Jeff Harrison




Ominous Mammatus Clouds at Sunset by Ronnie Wiggin
Ominous Mammatus Clouds at Sunset by Ronnie Wiggin