Cb mammatus

The photographed cloud was the end stage of a brief severe thunderstorm that effected the Maltese Islands during the morning. It was preceded by the formation of cumulonimbus arcus clouds that moved swiftly over the Islands and which brought very strong winds up to 78kmh (Force 9). As per surface pressure chart on the fifth thumbnail, the cumulonimbus cloud formed as a squall line represented by a solid black line still to Malta’s NW at midnight had passed during the morning along with its associated upper-level trough, via the 500mb chart on the third thumbnail, that brought about a much cooler airmass over our Islands forcing the surface warmer air to rise hence creating huge air turbulence. Following the passage of this squall line, the upper-level airmass began to sink again hence forming the photographed cumulonimbus capillatus incus mammatus clouds whereby the air begins to sink back towards the surface. The first thumbnail is a closer view of the cloud’s udders or mamma as seen in Malta’s capital city, Valletta. The second thumbnail depicts the weather sounding just before the storm indicating a rather unstable airmass along with some steep lapse rate helping the formation of cumulonimbus clouds. Speed wind shear was also observed with light prevailing wind Force 2 increasing to Force 8 at upper-levels. The visible satellite image on the fourth thumbnail showed that the storm clouds had already left the Islands for good by late morning and clearly associated with the upper-level trough.

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