Creepy shelf cloud darkens the sunset sky of Virginia (pictures)

Before the skies opened up over Virginia on Wednesday evening, thunder and ominous black clouds gave a solid warning of the looming storm, with unbelievable images capturing the impending weather front.

These photographs picture how the wall of dark clouds and thunderheads crawled across the sky as the storm front roll over the atlantic beaches of Virginia.

shelf cloud, shelf cloud picture, shelf cloud video, shelf cloud virginia pictures
A shelf cloud looming over Virginia on February 15, 2017. Via Instagram

A shelf cloud, also known as an arcus or arc cloud, is typically seen at the leading edge of a thunderstorm or squall line of thunderstorms.

shelf cloud, shelf cloud picture, shelf cloud video, shelf cloud virginia pictures
Pretty creepy cloud with sorts of tentacles going down to the Ocean. via Instagram

While menacing in appearance, shelf clouds are not tornadoes or wall clouds.

shelf cloud, shelf cloud picture, shelf cloud video, shelf cloud virginia pictures
Are these clouds a sign of impending powerful storm? Via Instagram

What you’re seeing in a shelf cloud is the boundary between a downdraft and updraft of a thunderstorm or line of thunderstorms.

shelf cloud, shelf cloud picture, shelf cloud video, shelf cloud virginia pictures
Shelf cloud in sunset light over Virginia in February 2017 via Instagram

Rain-chilled air descends in a thunderstorm’s downdraft, then spreads laterally when reaching Earth’s surface.

shelf cloud, shelf cloud picture, shelf cloud video, shelf cloud virginia pictures
The shelf cloud is dangerously approaching Virginia’s coast. via Instagram

Warmer, more moist air is lifted at the leading edge, or gust front, of this rain-cooled air. When this warm, moist air condenses, you see the shelf cloud.

shelf cloud, shelf cloud picture, shelf cloud video, shelf cloud virginia pictures
There will be blood. via Instagram

As the shelf cloud passes, you feel an abrupt shift in wind direction and increased wind speed, followed within minutes by heavy rain or hail.

shelf cloud, shelf cloud picture, shelf cloud video, shelf cloud virginia pictures
And the sky suddenly disappeared! via Instagram

Wind gusts once the shelf cloud has passed may be quite strong, causing downed trees, tree limbs and power outages.

 

SHARE

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here