In a scene uncannily reminiscent of apocalyptic Hollywood sci-fis, the skies over Oklahoma were host to a rare meteorological phenomenon which covered the area in strange puckered clouds.
Video of the weirdly mesmerising scene taken in Sayre, Oklahoma on Friday shows the sky enveloped by the strange-looking, thick, white clouds. Lightning can be seen flashing ominously behind the fluffy formations.
The bizarre clouds are a rare form of weather, called mammatus clouds. Their distinctive shape includes round bottoms and an unusually full appearance. The American Meteorological Society defines them as “hanging protuberances, like pouches, on the undersurface of a cloud.”
— Randy (@nicrock90) May 12, 2018
That does not look good, just sayin’
— karen cargnelli (@agility2girl) May 12, 2018
— Justin Sicking (@thejables) May 13, 2018
The droopy effect is caused when air from the upper cloud layer descends into the clear air below, causing the water droplets to evaporate. This cools the air and makes the clouds descend faster, dragging some downwards to create the strange shape.
Mammatus clouds are rare and are most commonly associated with thunderstorms, but they can also occur with other cloud types.
What’s most unusual about Mammatus clouds is how they get their name. The rare clouds are named after their distinct shape, and the Latin word, ‘mamma’ which means breast or udder.
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