Rare and ominous cloud formations explained

9 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
COLUMBIA Updated 7:05 p.m. - The Columbia Police Department said a second victim in the Sunday shooting on I-70 Drive... More >>
3 hours ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 4:18:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - During his time as athletic director at the University of Missouri Mike Alden oversaw a little bit of... More >>
5 hours ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:35:00 PM CDT in Sports
ST. LOUIS (AP) — About 1,000 of St. Louis' delinquent properties are expected to face the wrecking ball to create... More >>
6 hours ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 1:13:10 PM CDT in News
OZARK, Mo . (AP) — A southwestern Missouri man is accused of sexual misconduct involving a teenager who investigators say... More >>
7 hours ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:20:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
FORSYTH, Mo . (AP) — Authorities said a southern Missouri man told investigators he was either sleepwalking or dreaming when... More >>
9 hours ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 10:25:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Officers said a suspect is on the run after a robbery at an Extended Stay America Saturday night.... More >>
21 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:39:11 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A hearing for Sturgeon Police Chief Greg Halderman will take place on Monday. On the week of... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 7:16:00 PM CDT in News
LINN - State Technical College in Linn opened up its campus to recruit prospective students and to show off what... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Fire Protection District said Saturday it is conducting a search and rescue at the Katfish... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:37:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two men each are jailed on $750,000 bond after being accused in connection with the St.... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:38:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Two semi trucks and two cars were part of a wreck Saturday that closed westbound I-70. The... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:23:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Republican-led Missouri Legislature will get back to a business-friendly agenda when it returns from... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 12:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:54:00 AM CDT in News
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — An activist who helped shut down a St. Louis-area freeway during protests commemorating the first anniversary... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:45:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 15-year-old boy was killed and six other people were critically wounded... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:41:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A group of local artists hosted a fundraiser Friday night, giving people people the chance to view works... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:40:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia businesses are coming together to encourage community members to lead healthy and balanced lives. Keystone Chiropractic... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:28:00 AM CDT in News
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Officials in a Kansas City suburb where a fire destroyed a multimillion-dollar apartment building under... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:30:30 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
8pm 55°
9pm 54°
10pm 53°
11pm 54°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Chicago Justice
9:00p
Shades of Blue
6:00p
Mystic Pizza
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Chicago Justice
9:00p
Shades of Blue
6:00p
Mystic Pizza
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld