Atomic bomb anvil cloud over Nekounam, Argentina

Local emergency services report receiving a high volume of calls by petrified town residents fearing that the end of days was upon them.

The clouds matched the hallmark of a nuclear explosion, or so it appeared to watchers in Nekounam, Argentina on December 1, 2016.

 anvil cloud, anvil cloud argentina, anvil cloud december 2016, anvil cloud argentina december 2016, anvil cumunolimbus clouds
via Instagram

This spooky mushroom cloud had locals fearing a nuclear bomb and emergency services were flooded with calls from worried residents concerned that doomsday had arrived.

 anvil cloud, anvil cloud argentina, anvil cloud december 2016, anvil cloud argentina december 2016, anvil cumunolimbus clouds
via Instagram

Wait a minute! The spectacle was just an anvil thunderstorm cloud. Yes, an atomic bomb anvil mushrooom cloud.

 anvil cloud, anvil cloud argentina, anvil cloud december 2016, anvil cloud argentina december 2016, anvil cumunolimbus clouds
via Instagram

Anvil clouds, which are mostly composed of ice particles, form in the upper parts of thunderstorms.

They get their anvil shape from the fact that the rising air in thunderstorms expands and spreads out as the air bumps up against the bottom of the stratosphere.

 anvil cloud, anvil cloud argentina, anvil cloud december 2016, anvil cloud argentina december 2016, anvil cumunolimbus clouds
via Instagram

This is because the air in the stratosphere is warmer than the rising air in the anvil, and so prevents the relatively cooler anvil air from rising any farther.

You will often see streaks of snow called “virga” falling out of the edges of anvils.

 anvil cloud, anvil cloud argentina, anvil cloud december 2016, anvil cloud argentina december 2016, anvil cumunolimbus clouds
via Instagram

This virga evaporates as it falls through the relatively dry air surrounding the upper part of the thunderstorm.

 anvil cloud, anvil cloud argentina, anvil cloud december 2016, anvil cloud argentina december 2016, anvil cumunolimbus clouds
via Instagram

Because the upper layers of the troposphere are so cold, anvil clouds often contain heavy snow, which melts as it falls into warmer air below, turning to rain.

 anvil cloud, anvil cloud argentina, anvil cloud december 2016, anvil cloud argentina december 2016, anvil cumunolimbus clouds
via Instagram

It is estimated that about 50% of the rain produced by the average thunderstorm originates as ice and snow, even in the tropics.

Follow us: Facebook and Twitter

SHARE

3 COMMENTS

  1. People must not get out much, too busy watching tv or phones. These are nothing more than typical thunderstorms with a good anvil. (Cumulonimbus)

  2. The stratosphere is not warmer. The updraft in the storm is cooled to the point where it loses it’s buoyancy and is then sheared off the top by the stronger horizontal winds aloft. This is nothing more than a supercell thunderstorm that requires a specific combination of temperatures and humidity as well as wind speed and direction at various levels in the atmosphere. Not uncommon here in the US in Spring and Fall, especially in mid continent where cool dry air from the North clashes with warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here