Mammatus clouds spotted in the Tennessee Valley Monday evening

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Puffy, pouch-like features were spotted throughout the Tennessee Valley Monday evening, mainly on a thunderstorms that lingered over Cullman and Morgan Counties.

These features are called mammatus clouds, and they occur when cold, dense air surges downward within the parent cloud. The cold air "punches" the air around it, producing the pouch-like appearance.

Mammatus are often present during severe thunderstorms, but they can also form during "normal" or "ordinary" thunderstorms. Their presence does not always signify the threat of severe weather.

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