I have only seen this kind of cloud formation 3 or 4 times in my life. Each time I am filled with a kind of awe about the mystery and potential it portrays, and I find I am drawn to standing out in whatever the weather will be that accompanies it. I try to imagine what the tops of the clouds look like, up there in the bright sun above them, while down below the menace and roiling, bulbous forms suggest a fierce climatic doom may be upon us.
And then it passes. Blown away like all moments, no matter if they are angry or benign, they just go on about their endlessly dissolving – one can’t say merry – way into becoming something else. For me this is a reminder that photography, like nature, is made of continuously unfolding moments that are rich with the rare and unexpected gatherings of energy, all of which are individually addressed to each of us.
I believe these are called cumulonimbus mamma clouds. I,too, have rarely seen these but when I have they have been associated with a sharp cold front moving into a region of hot, humid air. The thunder storms are generally quite violent.
Frank, I can see why they are called ‘mamma’ clouds, for sure, given the billowing and pendulous forms they make. I once studied cloud forms over water back when I spent summers on Cape Cod, and these never showed up in my books, maybe a sign of their rarity. Thanks for following. Joel