Mammatus over Manhattan

June 28, 2009

The was crazy Friday evening. First it was 90 degrees and everyone at the Trans March wilted in the heat. Then we had a freakish thunderstorm that lasted half an hour. Then it cleared up into a gorgeous evening and my sweetheart and I walked down the street looking at our long shadows and she taught me the word alpenglow, which is for the sun hitting the mountains, but it’s also for the sun hitting tall buildings. Then we looked up and the sky was bonkers. Backlit blobby low clouds that looked more like cartoons of clouds than cloud clouds. The pictures I took with my fancy new telephone don’t do it justice, but there are more over at Gothamist.

I thought it looked like something out of Rockwell Kent, and googling around this weekend “rockwell kent clouds” I found out it’s a special kind of cloud formation called mammatus or mammatoculumulus. From the latin mamma, same as mammary and mammal, because meteorologists see bosoms in the sky.

From Rockwell Kent’s illustrations of Moby Dick
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