It’s not the apocalypse, but don’t tell that to residents of Rochester, Minnesota, who freaked out after this eerie shelf cloud engulfed their sky. The low-hanging clouds score full marks for dramatic effect. This particular shelf cloud looks extra creepy thanks to the red glowing color from the setting sun. Wow! Look at the pictures below!
And while these particular clouds don’t do damage, they certainly signify a storm that can. Shelf cloud formations appear on the edge of thunderstorms. Usually pretty big thunderstorms, too. The eerie sight of these beautiful formations means hail, lightning, heavy rains and possibly tornados loom in the distance.
But it’s not just the sight of the cloud that puts folks at unease. You can actually feel them too. When a thunderstorm rolls through, the updraft of the massive clouds creates lower pressure at the center of the storm. That means the surrounding air actually rushes towards the storm to “occupy” that new low-pressure space.
So shelf clouds also often bring a sudden change in wind direction and, for the extra sensitive, a possible feeling of something being “not quite right.” Kind of like when you’re in an airplane and there’s a change in cabin pressure.
In other words, it’s not the apocalypse, but don’t blame these inhabitants of Rochester for thinking twice. It’s indeed a really good idea to treat the sight of these weather patterns with that kind of respect.