Mammatus Clouds in Lansing

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Did anyone else see those mammatus clouds over Lansing on Monday June 2nd? They're so cool to see! I took the attached photos in south Lansing after the thunderstorms had passed.

Never heard of mammatus? Many haven't, at least not around Michigan. Mammatus clouds are commonly seen near severe thunderstorms, but bring no severe weather themselves. They're a very common cloud seen in parts like Kansas and Nebraska, but I only seem to see them pop up around social media in Michigan a couple times a year.

The name "mammatus" is based of the same root word as "mammary" because of their resemblance to a cow's udders. I like to describe them as bubble wrap in the sky.

There are a few theories on how they are formed. The common one is that ice crystals from the top of the tall clouds in strong thunderstorms fall into the lower clouds and when they do, they cause that small part of the cloud base to cool down and drop in an otherwise warm environment of rising air, creating little pockets of lowered clouds.

They're always beautiful to see.


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