Mammatus Clouds above Queens, New York

August 07, 2009


Photographer: Ronald J. Palazzolo; Paul Scialla
Summary Author: Ronald J. Palazzolo; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a surreal display of mammatus clouds engulfing a fragile looking commercial jet above Citi Field in Queens, New York City, on June 26, 2009. The Mets were at home against the Bronx Bombers (Yankees) in the first of a three game, subway series. The game didn't go so well for the home team, but at least Mets fans could cheer (a real cheer; not a Bronx one) for this spectacular cloud formation. Mammatus clouds are produced by downdrafts of cold air, usually within mature thunderstorm cells. They're frequently observed on the underside of a spreading cumulonimbus anvil. Although the evil looking clouds commanded our attention, their bark is often worse than their bite – mammatus are not always a precursor of severe weather. In fact, the Mets/Yanks game was delayed a bit but not postponed by the stormy skies -- too bad for the Mets. Photo taken at approximately 8:00 p.m. local time (Eastern Daylight Time).

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