Friday’s weather brought heavy rain, gusty winds, loud thunder and frequent lightning. But they also brought this feature: Check out the photos below that were sent to WHNT News 19.
These are called shelf clouds, and they occur when the leading edge of rain-cooled air shoves warm, humid air higher into the sky. Occasionally, wall clouds (precursors to tornadoes) can be found within a shelf cloud, but for the most part, shelf clouds indicate the possibility of gusty winds as well as very heavy rain.
Shelf clouds form as the rain-cooled thunderstorm air rushes out ahead of the storm and meets up with warm air. The colder, more dense air lifts the warm air, causing it to cool and form the shelf cloud. You may have noticed yesterday feeling the cool wind before the rain began.
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