Stunning pictures of 'bubble' clouds in the menacing skies above Britain

Posted on 1:01 PM by Sameer Shah

It looks like a scene from the apocalypse.

Dark, menacing clouds bubble like a cauldron, creating voluptuous vapour formations that appear to be sinking towards the earth - perhaps to swallow up mankind.

But, rather than the final moments before the everlasting judgement of God, it is actually an unusual weather phenomenon - although no less impressive.

Called a mammatus - from the Latin word for breast, due to the round shape of the cloud pockets - it only occurs during the aftermath of a storm.

It is formed by a rare combination of conditions.

A Met Office spokesman explained: ‘This is a spectacular and distinctive cloud formulation consisting of pendulous globules of cloud.

‘They are rare and hang from the underside of stratocumulus or cumulonimbus clouds, especially underneath the anvil of the latter.

‘They are caused by powerful downdrafts when pockets of cold, moist air sink rapidly from the upper to the lower parts of the cloud, reversing the usual cloud-forming pattern of the upward convection of warm, humid air.’

The scene was photographed by sharp-eyed Ian Pattison, 31, an assistant librarian from St Albans, Hertfordshire, just outside his home at 7.30pm on August 12.

He said: ‘I got a new phone last week - an iPhone - and when I saw this amazing sky, I just grabbed it and started snapping - I couldn’t believe what I was looking at.

‘The clouds were beautiful. It was only when I look them up online that I realised their significance.’

No Response to "Stunning pictures of 'bubble' clouds in the menacing skies above Britain"