Clouds 101: Mammatocumulus (Mammatus Clouds)

Mammatocumulus or mammatus clouds are very curious looking clouds which I have seen myself on two occasions. Once in the dawn during spring and once in the afternoon, during the spring/summer transition. Clouds that I've seen are the mildest possible variation of mammatus clouds and not as intense as they look on the following pictures. I can also say that it's most definitely true that they appear, perfectly formed for about 10-15 minutes and than they disperse into surrounding clouds. I also made some snapshots the second time I've spotted them but, unfortunately, I haven't saved them. They were not as impressive as the ones I've borrowed from other sites to show you but quite a sighting nevertheless. If I ever get the chance to spot them again, I will gladly share my photos with you. Mammatus clouds form
in sinking air and that's one of the things that makes them stand apart from most clouds which form in rising air. When you notice a mammatus cloud (or a cluster) you actually see a cloud bottom. Normal cloud bottoms are flat.

This is because moist warm air
that rises and cools will condense into water droplets at a specific temperature,
which usually corresponds to a very specific height.

As water
droplets grow, an opaque cloud forms.

Under some conditions, however, cloud pockets can develop that contain large droplets
of water or ice that fall into clear air as they evaporate.

Such pockets may occur in
turbulent air near a
thunderstorm. Although mammatus most
frequently form on the underside of a cumulonimbus, they can develop underneath
cirrocumulus, altostratus, altocumulus, stratocumulus and volcanic ash clouds. Mammatus clouds do not produce severe weather.
However, they are associated with big towering cumulonimbus
clouds because they are usually found on the underside of an
anvil cloud. The reason some people think Mammatus clouds mean
severe weather is coming, is because they often appear before
a strong storm moves in. They are also often found after
a storm rolls through. In fact, mammatus are usually seen
after the worst of a thunderstorm has passed. When these clouds do occur with
cumulonimbus, they are generally an indicator of a particularly strong
storm or a possible tornado. Intense wind shear in cumulonimbus clouds that have mammatus make it dangerous for aircraft to enter these clouds. Mammatus clouds are a
cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. They may be smooth or have ragged, lumpy lobes. These
clouds can be opaque or semitransparent. Mammatus frequently occur as a grouping of
lobes, so the way they clump together can vary. Some can be an isolated
cluster or a field of mammatus can spread over hundreds of kilometers.
They can be organized in a line or a jagged slash across the sky
composed of unequal or similarly-sized lobes. The average diameter of a
lobe is 1–3km. A lobe usually lasts about 10 minutes, but a cluster can
remain up to a few hours. They usually are composed of ice, but can be a
mixture of ice and liquid water or be composed entirely liquid water. The
name of the clouds refers to the fact that their shape resembles the breasts of
a woman.Oh, my. Such cheeky clouds these are.

Mammatocumulus ili mammatus oblaci su oblaci dosta interesantnog izgleda
koje sam i sama osmotrila u dvije prilike. Jednom je bilo pred zoru u
proljece a drugi put u rano poslijepodne, tokom prelaznog perioda iz
proljeca na ljeto. Oni koje sam opazila su najslabije izrazena vrsta
mammatus oblaka i definitivno nisu ispoljenih karakteristika u jednakom
intenzitetu kao na slikama koje cete vidjeti. Takodjer mogu reci da je
sigurno istina da kada se pojave u najcistijoj formi, taj period potraje
oko 10-15 minuta nakon cega se stope sa okolnim oblacima. Drugom
prilikom kada sam ih opazila sam i napravila par fotki ali ih nazalost
nisam spasila. Nisu bile impresivan prizor kao slike koje sam posudila
sa drugih stranica da vam ih pokazem ali su bez obzira na to bili
itekako zanimljiv prizor. Ako mi se ponovo pruzi prilika da ih osmotrim,
te slike cu rado da podijelim sa vama. Mammatus oblaci se formiraju u zraku koji ponire i to je jedna od karakteristika po kojoj se
razlikuju od vecine oblaka koji inace nastaju u zraku koji ima
vertikalno strujanje. Ako opazite mammatus oblak (ili skupinu njih) vi
ustvari gledate bazu oblaka. Inace su baze oblaka ravne iz razloga sto
se vlazan i topao zrak podize i hladi na visini te kondenzacijom se
pretvara u vodene kapljice pri odredjenim temperaturama a sve se to
odvija na specificnim visinama. Kako vodene kapljice rastu, formira se
neproziran oblak. Ipak pod odredjenim uvjetima se razviju i “dzepovi”
oblaka
koji sadrze jako velike kapljice vode ili leda koje upadaju u
cist zrak dok isparavaju. Takvi dzepovi se mogu pojaviti u turbulentnom
zraku u blizini oluje. Iako se mammatus oblaci cesto formiraju u
podnozju kumulonimbus oblaka (olujnih oblaka), isto tako se mogu
formirati i ispod cirokumulusa, altostratusa, altokumulusa,
stratokumulusa i oblaka nastalih vulkanskom prasinom. Mammatus oblaci
sami ne izazivaju opasne vremenske prilike. Ipak se cesto povezuju sa
kumulonimbusima (CB) jer su cest prizor pri bazi kumulonimbusa i razlog
iz kojeg ljudi smatraju da pojava mammatus oblaka znaci da oluja dolazi
jeste bas spomenuto formiranje u podnozju CB-a. Iako se nerijetko
pojavljuju i nakon sto olujno vrijeme prodje. Stovise, mammatus oblaci se pojavljuju kada najintenzivniji i najopasniji dio olujnog vremena prodje. Kada su vidjeni u kombinaciji sa kumulonimbusom, generalno se smatraju
indikatorom da ce uslijediti posebno jaka oluja ili moguci tornado.
Intenzivno smicanje vjetra unutar kumulonimbusa koje prate mammatusi
predstavlja veliku opasnost za avione ako udju u ove oblake. Mammatus
oblaci su vrecaste formacije u celijskom obliku koje vise ispod baze
oblaka. Mogu biti glatke oblacne polukruzne rese ili iskrzane rese pune
ispupcenja. Mammatusi se cesto pojavljuju u skupinama i nacin na koji su
grupirani moze varirati. Neki su izolirana grupica dok drugi mogu biti
polje mammatusa koje se prostire na stotine kilometara. Prosjecan
promjer jedne polulopte je 1-3 kilometra. Ta polulopta moze da traje
otprilike 10 minuta ali se grupacija polulopti moze odrzati i par sati.
Najcesce se sastoje od leda ali mogu biti mjesavina leda i vode ili da
su potpuno sastavljeni od vode. Ime oblaka se odnosi na cinjenicu da im
oblik podsjeca na zenske grudi. Kako su samo bezobrazni ovi oblacici.

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