Powerful Summer Storm Produces Vivid Pictures
The East Coast endured a round of severe storms Tuesday night, leaving massive damage in the Mid-Atlantic region. The hardest hit areas were Southeastern Pennsylvania, Central New Jersey and parts of Connecticut. The high winds (71 mph recorded at Philadelphia airport) which accompanied the storm overturned cars, brought down trees, and left hundreds of thousands of houses without power.
In spite of the destruction, the storm brought with it some startlingly beautiful images. As the storm front exited the region Tuesday evening, Mammatus clouds formed behind it producing a series of graceful and serene summer storm pictures. These unusual looking clouds came as the sun was setting, painting the sky with amazing skylines from Boston down the Eastern Seaboard to Washington D.C.. The clouds hung around just long enough to highlight the late setting sun of the third longest day of the year.
A few BloomSky weather cameras in those areas were fortunate enough to capture some perfectly timed images of the storm, seen below.
Mammatus clouds are formed by cold air which is heavy from ice or snow crystals, sinking into warmer, drier air. As most cloud types contain rising air which form pouches on their top-side, mammatocumulus could be considered upside down clouds due to the sinking air that brings the pouches to their underside. How is it that a summer storm produces vivid pictures such as what we saw this week? The higher humidity content of summer leads to more variations of cloud shapes and severe weather, while the longer days of summer create the unique lighting that best highlights the puffy, oversized clouds so typical of a summer storm. Visit NOAA’s sky watcher chart to learn more about clouds types, and here to discover ways to use the sky to understand approaching weather.
Full time-lapse videos from these areas are available on the BloomSky app for iOS or Android, searchable by location or device name. You can follow severe weather occurring in a certain location in real-time by referencing this world-wide map of BloomSky weather camera locations. If you’re interested in joining the BloomSky community and want a weather camera of your own, visit our site for more information.
See more images from this recent storm on the Accuweather blog.