Mammatus Clouds Over Bozeman, Montana

May 17, 2010


Photographer: Martin Richard
Summary AuthorMartin Richard

The photo above showing a particularly gripping mammatus formation reminding me of the “hand of God” was taken at the Riverside Country Club in Bozeman, Montana. The underside of anvil clouds, which are associated with mature thunderstorms, can display mammatus. They ostensibly form as a result of downdrafts of cold air; however, the forces that shape these pouch-like clouds are still debated. Since they’re linked to the potentially dangerous storm clouds, including tornadic supercells, their menacing appearance is in some cases well deserved. Fortunately, in this case, nothing of consequence developed. Photo taken on June 23, 2005.

Photo Details: Handheld Nikon D70 camera; shooting at 1/200th of a second; at aperture f / 7.1. The contrast was popped a bit in Photoshop.  I was facing south for this photo, looking up about 60 degrees from the horizon.