25 Unbelievable Cloud Formations

Posted by on August 9, 2012

Unless you are an avid cloud watcher you may have never even give a second thought to the various shapes and patterns clouds are forming high above your head. While you’ve no doubt seen some of these before there is a good chance others will be completely new. In fact, some are so rare that you will probably never see them apart from lists such as this one. These are 25 unbelievable cloud formations.


Roll Cloud

Often associated with thunderstorms or cold fronts, these clouds are usually low and tube shaped.


Shelf Clouds

Also associated with cold fronts and thunderstorms, shelf clouds differ from roll clouds in that they are usually attached to the parent cloud directly above.


Cirrus Kelvin-Helmholtz

These slim, horizontal spirals tend to dissipate quickly after their initial formation making observation difficult.


Mammatus Clouds

These rare pouch-like clouds usually form after the thunderstorm has passed. Contrary to common knowledge they do not indicate an imminent tornado (although they do look ominous).


Nacreous Clouds

Sometimes referred to as “mother of pearl” clouds, these can be found at altitudes of up to 20 miles. Usually seen in polar regions near the poles they are known for their iridescent colors.