Unusual Cloud formation in New Zealand
This picture of an amazing Cloud Formation which I spotted when driving along the desert road in New Zealand (the N1 road towards Lake Taupo). It’s like something from the start of War of the Worlds or the new alien feature skyline. It was a formation and type of cloud I had not seen before and I can tell you it freaked me out a small bit when I first saw this.
Below is a close up of the clouds shows the weird formation which I had never seen anything like before.
What are these clouds formations?
Apparently, these are called Mammatus cloud formations. Mammatus clouds are often associated with severe thunderstorms as they can extend from the base of a cumulonimbus. Mammatus are often indicative of strong storm activity. With my interest in aviation, I know that pilots always try to avoid these types of clouds due to induction turbulence.
These Mammatus cloud formations end up usually having a bubbly or lobe based shaped. They often form a cluster of lobes giving the above formation. These Mammatus cloud lobes are usually composed of ice and liquid water. It is known that if you see these, it is normally the sign of a coming storm or other extreme weather systems.
The sign of these clouds preceding a storm was very much correct. We passed the point where this photo was taken at 5 pm, by midnight this road was officially closed as it was blocked by a huge snow drift. Amazing!