Shelf Cloud Over Southern Germany

July 16, 2010


Photographer: Jens Hackmann
Summary Authors: Jens Hackmann; Jim Foster  July 2010 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The panorama featured above shows a sinister-looking shelf cloud as it approached the town of Bad Mergentheim, in southern Germany on June 6, 2010. Shelf clouds are attached to the parent thunderstorm and are positioned at its leading edge. They typically form when cool air associated with a thunderstorm's downdraft advances into the warm, humid air feeding the storm. Though they generally don't presage the formation of tornadoes, their winds can at times be severe.

Photo Details: Panorama of three images; 24-105 mm, f/4 lens; Focal Length: 105 mm; Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV camera.