Is this a wall cloud or just my false hopes?

J Pond

Enthusiast
Apr 13, 2019
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Winnebago Nebraska
This was taken at Winnevegas Casino in Sloan Iowa and the event in question is to the NNE of me. I can't find any documentation of anything other than a Severe thunderstorm warning that ended up canceling out as 'it weakened below severe limits.' There didn't appear to be any rotation but there was rapid movement,development, and dissipation. Of clouds that were close to the ground. They seem to be known as scud clouds but my high hopes still isn't sure if what I really have here. Any help would be appreciated and a learning experience. 18989
 
It looks to me like there is a slightly lowered area of the base that you might consider a wall cloud. However, the scattered stuff closer to the ground is scud. You said the movement was rapid - was it rising toward the base? Sometimes rising scud can congeal into a wall cloud, but it does not sound from your description like that really happened in this case.
 
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Jul 16, 2013
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Joplin, MO
Hard to say, looks more like scud clouds to me but having video of it would provide more visual clues to determine if it was a wall cloud or not. Regardless, nice picture of a thunderstorm over the countryside of Iowa!
 
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Aug 9, 2012
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Galesburg, IL
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A wider angle photo and perhaps some video would yield a better answer here I think. Where was your positioning on the storm? I'd say based on this photo, it looks like a lot of scud being pulled into the storm or under the base, as some of the features don't look attached. Really tough call though without a wider shot or video showing what is going on. Nice photo though!
 
Nov 18, 2006
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Chicago, IL
Scud for sure, but some wall clouds begin this way, by pulling scud into their base. I'd be curious to see a photo 5 minutes after this.

The technical definition for a wall cloud is pretty loose. Its basically just a blocky lowering under a storms updraft base. I'd say they're more common than people think based on that.