Sunset and Mammatus Clouds Observed in Sicily

November 17, 2021

20210906 7R309441 web(1)

Photographer: Alessia Scarso

Summary Author: Alessia Scarso; Cadan Cummings

The beautiful sunset shown above was photographed near the city of Modica, Italy on the island of Sicily. Because the Sun is almost below the horizon, light from the sunset illuminated the underside of the cloud base and accentuated several regions of mammatus clouds. Mesmerizing to see in person or in photos, mammatus clouds are often found beneath anvil clouds and are primarily composed of ice crystals and water vapor. These unique cloud structures are likely caused by a combination of wind shears and sharp temperature gradients leading to these pouches of saturated air sinking underneath the cloud base. Photo taken on September 6, 2021.


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