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can anyone tell me what this is ?

WAG looking at the images, it's tough to say without any motion. The satellite image was about 5 hours before the pictures, so it's a bit misleading.

I think it may be some sort of downward motion at the mid-levels, similar to mammatus. From the first picture the clouds in question are near the rain area, and with some pretty high bases, I would think it's some sort of downdraft associated feature. Reading page 12, it seems these may be some gust front/outflow feature. However, Joplin would be near the backedge of the complex by the time the pics were taken.

Can't say I've ever seen anything like it though.
 
We had another thread with what appears to be the same type of clouds. I believe these could be called cumulonimbus mammatus with undulatus wave forms.
 

I didn't see the picture in the first link. But the pic in the above link does not look to be a mammatus form.

Mammatus is a form of precipitation in the sense that it is fall out from the cloud. This is not what we are seeing in the picture.

Looks like it could be some type of outflow bndry.

I think this is the best explanation. Does look very much like the cloud seen around a gust front. I believe turbulence and conflicting airmass types are the cause of this. :)
 
One of the meteorologists at a local TV station sent pictures of that to the SPC, they replied back calling it Lenticular Mammatus clouds.
 
Actually I have only now just viewed the photos on the original link for this thread. Fascinating pictures. I have changed my opinion and don't disagree with calling it mammatus.
 
One of the meteorologists at a local TV station sent pictures of that to the SPC, they replied back calling it Lenticular Mammatus clouds.

I like the idea that they are very broad mammatus. What I seem to see is undulations in a background of laminar turbulence. I thought lenticular clouds were more commonly an orographic feature, but if you ignore the undulations in the cloudes, you see these laminar lines in the clouds such as you'd expect from lenticular clouds.

While I agree with another poster that these have the appearance of a gust front's underbelly, the limited views I see show these not to be associated with a shelf cloud that I can identify and the undulations appear to descend much lower than one would expect from the "boiling sky" of a shelf.

Without video, it is difficult to interpret what we're seeing. But I certainly wouldn't mind a storm generating some of those for me to see sometime :)
 
The last time this kind of feature was discussed (I recall observed around the Joplin, MO / Pittsburg, KS area), we had some discussion and disagreement. After looking through several web sites on this topic, I actually concur with calling this lenticular mammatus. Although lenticular clouds are commonly an orographic feature, as I understand they don't necessarily have to be. Also, this type of phenomenon is sometimes associated with pressure undulations caused by gravity waves -- which I recall were visible on satellite that day around Joplin.
 
I think this picture and this one give more of a clue as to where in the storm these are occurring. It appears to be some strange kind of gust front, with the "undulatus" (or whatever) happening right behind it. Maybe it's a strong outflow boundary interacting with a storm? I dunno, definitely weird. I have seen similar formations behind gust fronts in the past, although nothing quite this intense.

I don't know that I like the "lenticular mammatus" designation, as they look neither lenticular nor particularly mamma-like, but who am I to argue with the SPC?
 
I liken it to this: next time, when you're under water, look up (eyes open)... The appearance of waves and turbulence on the top of the water kind of looks like the clouds in the picture. Therefore, my hunch is that the clouds being discussed are occurring atop a very deep cold pool -- the density difference between the warm cloud-layer and the cold (stable) sub-cloud layer may be likened to the density difference betweeen the water and air (obviously, the magnitude of difference in the former is considerably less than the latter). I've seen clouds similar to these before, and, from what I remember, they seem to occurr during seasonably/unseasonably cold days or times (such as action outflow boundary passage)... Just my 2 cents.
 
Guys are you sure this is not a digital effect? I would not bet on it....
The definition is too much perfect...mmm

These pics are very much real! I live in Pittsburg, KS, a town that they passed over, saw them with my own eyes! It was a very spectacular event! I've never seen such a thing.
 
One of the meteorologists at a local TV station sent pictures of that to the SPC, they replied back calling it Lenticular Mammatus clouds.

I like the idea that they are very broad mammatus. What I seem to see is undulations in a background of laminar turbulence. I thought lenticular clouds were more commonly an orographic feature, but if you ignore the undulations in the cloudes, you see these laminar lines in the clouds such as you'd expect from lenticular clouds.

While I agree with another poster that these have the appearance of a gust front's underbelly, the limited views I see show these not to be associated with a shelf cloud that I can identify and the undulations appear to descend much lower than one would expect from the "boiling sky" of a shelf.

Without video, it is difficult to interpret what we're seeing. But I certainly wouldn't mind a storm generating some of those for me to see sometime :)

That was the name provided to the local TV Met... Steve Runnels at the SGF NWS called them "Cumulonimbus Mammatus with undulatus wave forms"

I do have a video of it, and pictures!

http://www.kschaser.com/lenmammatus.html
 
After seeing a video I agree with words of "jketcham", these are Cb mammatus with undulatus forms. Definatelly something "new".
I guess a bit later it started to rain? Because I remember such intense (Sc) undulatus forms few days ago here, they appeared just before the rain came.
As I can see you were under a huge MCS, Cb clouds involved as well. So maybe mammatus swept so low, that then also undulatus forms appeared. Also height is right even for Sc class.
But for my opinion that cannot be a lenticularis form, even you ignore undulations :? Sc len are different.

Marko
 
Its cool...thats what it is!


I did a ctrl +A on the photo and saw the invisible watermark too!

© BIG GUY UPSTAIRS :lol: Joey, did you get His permission? lol
 
Its cool...thats what it is!


I did a ctrl +A on the photo and saw the invisible watermark too!

© BIG GUY UPSTAIRS :lol: Joey, did you get His permission? lol

LOL. Ya, no worries.. permission was granted to let me post them...

Actually, the cool thing is I didn't have my camera with me when it occured, so I was upset I missed it and when I got home from work I got this email from Wayne that lives here in town that had the pictures attached, he was awesome for letting me post them!

The other two taken by Amber, I actually work with her and didn't know she had taken any until the next day... both Amber and Wayne were awesome for letting me post those!
 
Awesome display of atmospheric wonder. Sure wish I could of seen it first hand.
 
Guys are you sure this is not a digital effect? I would not bet on it....
The definition is too much perfect...mmm

These pics are very much real! I live in Pittsburg, KS, a town that they passed over, saw them with my own eyes! It was a very spectacular event! I've never seen such a thing.

Wow then I belive you: amazing nature :wink:
 
Have to agree with Snyder, as I have seen these form within very intense lake effect snowbands (where quite a bit of lake induced instability is present).
 
Originally posted by Jeff Snyder
Therefore, my hunch is that the clouds being discussed are occurring atop a very deep cold pool -- the density difference between the warm cloud-layer and the cold (stable) sub-cloud layer may be likened to the density difference betweeen the water and air (obviously, the magnitude of difference in the former is considerably less than the latter).
I think this is a good possibility. As I alluded to above, these clouds were shot at 9-9:30am. The satellite image in the somethingawful forum was a 0900Z image, so extrapolating, one would think that the Joplin area was well worked over, airmass-wise. So I defintely can theorize about a cold sub-cloud layer.
 
When in doubt...call them gravity waves.

These are definitely surface gravity waves on the interface of fluids with different densities. Mammatus are usually associated with subsidence pockets at higher levels. These appear to be a lower level feature with undulating motions (both upward and downward) on the upper interface of a cold pool as Jeff mentioned.

Incredible pictures.
 
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