Rare and ominous cloud formations explained

11 months 4 weeks 2 days ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 8:16:00 PM CDT in Weather
By: Kenton Gewecke, KOMU 8 Weathercaster
Roll cloud over Versailles, MO via Dani Zurmiller at 7 AM Thursday

MID-MISSOURI - If you looked at the sky Thursday evening you might have noticed a few mysterious and ominous clouds overhead. KOMU 8 Weathercaster Kenton Gewecke explains.

Today is one of those days I will always remember, not because of severe weather necessarily, but because the sky was an amazingly rare sight...multiple times.

The interesting cloud formations started Thursday morning. At 7 a.m., KOMU 8 News viewer Dani Zurmiller snapped the picture above. It almost looks photoshopped it is so magnificent. This is called a roll cloud. It likely formed here because there was what we call an "outflow boundary" moving through. An outflow boundary moves ahead of a thunderstorm and is cooler air pushing forward. This colder air then ran into warm and moist air at the surface and created this cloud formation. Likely, if we were to see a time lapse of this cloud moving through, we would see it forming in the front and dissipating in the back, all while moving forward. This creates the rolling illusion. It is rather rare!

The clouds above are mammatus clouds! They are some of my favorite clouds because they just look so interesting in the sky. Mammatus clouds form when pockets of warm and moist air are surrounded by cooler air. They form in conjunction with thunderstorms because they need buoyancy, or convection, in the atmosphere to create the wind and temperature differences needed to support the formation. 

This video shows a weak scud cloud. This a "false alarm" cloud. A boundary is moving by and slightly mixing the atmosphere to create the wispy cloud circulations. Sometimes these can even move down from the cloud and look like a funnel cloud! It's an area of warm and moist air combining with an updraft and outflow boundary.

Now this one really is weird. This is a lenticular cloud! It also happens to be one of my favorite clouds, but I rarely see it in Missouri. Why, you might ask? They're almost always mountainous clouds! They form over mountains due to the stable and moist air shooting up over top the mountain peak and running into disruptive winds. This likely formed in Moberly because there was an updraft pushing warm and moist air up into a pool of cooler air that also happened to have winds different enough to create the formation.

What a day!

Showers and thunderstorms will continue to move through overnight and become more widespread again Friday afternoon and evening. Flash flooding may be a concern. For the full forecast straight from the Live Doppler 8 First Alert Weather Center watch KOMU 8 newscasts and go to our Weather Page and download the free KOMU 8 Weather App on Apple and Android devices. You can track storms with our Interactive Radar there, too. Stay tuned.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri economic development officials have authorized more than $6 million of incentives to several businesses that... More >>
38 minutes ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 5:06:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — An Arkansas man faces up to a decade in federal prison now that he's admitted forcing a... More >>
1 hour ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 4:28:00 PM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis-area woman convicted in March of secretly poisoning her son with prescription medications has been... More >>
2 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 3:13:42 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A 16-year-old has been detained following the April murder of 63-year-old Jerry Robertson of Jefferson City. In... More >>
2 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 3:12:00 PM CDT in News
ST. CHARLES - A judge declared a mistrial in the case against Serghei Comerzan Friday afternoon. Jurors were not able... More >>
3 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 2:04:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A 4-year-old child was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries after a fire at a home on... More >>
4 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 1:20:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County deputies served a search warrant at 507 N. Garth Avenue in Columbia as the result... More >>
5 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 12:28:00 PM CDT in News
PLATTE COUNTY - Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against a 25-year-old northwest Missouri man if he is convicted... More >>
6 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 11:09:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Police have made an arrest in the investigation of a suspicious death in April. A 16-year-old... More >>
7 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 10:15:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Fire Department says it rescued a man after he became trapped between a... More >>
9 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 7:55:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A Cape Girardeau institute that helps autistic people will remain open despite losing its state funding.... More >>
10 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 7:26:35 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Saint Louis University officials say no one was injured when a fire broke out at a... More >>
10 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 6:56:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation was preparing Friday for a weekend of heavy travel. AAA predicted... More >>
13 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 4:09:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
HOLTS SUMMIT - Callaway County Sheriff Deputies arrested two men after deputies found meth, marijuana and a firearm in their... More >>
18 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:36:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Eric Greitens called for the special legislative session on Monday, and it’s costing taxpayers thousands of... More >>
20 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 8:51:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police are investigating whether a man who stole a pickup truck after killing a woman and... More >>
22 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 7:09:45 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – President Donald Trump's proposed budget cuts on Tuesday could decrease funding for food stamps by nearly $200 billion... More >>
23 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:38:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Pizza Tree, a local restaurant in Columbia, is participating in a national campaign that works with the non-profit... More >>
1 day ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 5:17:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
6pm 80°
7pm 79°
8pm 77°
9pm 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
First Dates
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld