February 8, 2013

Cumulonimbus Mammatus : Stormy Skywatch

I've been overwhelmed by the kind feedback on my North Dakota Post.   Thank you all!
Those were just a small & random handful of photos I took in that area. I have many, many more from that trip (and others) that I will keep coming. 
The following are from the same time spent in the northwest corner of North Dakota. One evening during our two week stay, we were in need of groceries and decided to drive up to Estevan, Saskatchewan.
It had been a hot July day.  On our way back from Estevan, we had stopped to check out a deteriorating homestead with beautiful old barns when the weather began to turn. 
We thought the clouds were very peculiar, and I was watching them closely.
I took these photos while things were still relatively calm.
Apparently they are Cumulonimbus Mammatus, and they are often associated with particularly strong, possibly tornadic storms.
It was indeed a particularly strong & possibly tornadic storm. The wind was incredible!
Ponds (where the Prairie Pothole Region gets it's name) had giant waves that blew up and over the road. One of the kids asked from the back seat, "Did we bring a surf board?"
We watched as cut fields of hay blew like giant tumbleweeds, gone in minutes.
I remember thinking we should stop the vehicle and hunker down, but we were in a hurry to get back to where we were staying because Mitch still had ladders & construction material out that he feared would be blown half way back to Minnesota.
The storm eventually blew over & all ended fine. Farmers went back to chasing what hay they could salvage the next day. 
From what we're told, storms blow in very fast & unpredictably out there on the prairie.  And they can be very fierce.

It made for some interesting pictures at sunset, anyway.

Sharing with Skywatch Friday.


  1. Wow - so stunning!

  2. Dangerously beautiful but very scary at the same time. Glad you made it out safely....:)

  3. What breathtaking photos! Literally - seeing clouds like that make me hold my breath! I learned while living in west Texas that those clouds often spawn tornadoes and/or bad hailstorms. I'm glad they didn't do any harm, and instead gave you some truly gorgeous sunset photos! I love that you also captured the sun resting on the horizon, giving a gilded edge to those clouds way over yonder. These pics are really special.

  4. wow, these are stunning! scary and beautiful!

  5. Wow those are some awesome and scary clouds! Beautiful sunset behind the clouds.

  6. The North Dakota pictures are fabulous... the sunset in this post is also very captivating! What a beautiful talent you have!

  7. A breathtaking sky, and very well captured! I've seen some of your other shots too, love them!


  8. Those are amazing pictures! But, I prefer a peaceful sorroundings:)

  9. These are amazing shots.

    I think your photo tips are good - if it catches your eye, photograph it!


    Stewart M - Melbourne

  10. Such glorious beauty, these are amazing!

  11. I love watching a storm approach! Gorgeous skywatch captures! Happy Skywatching!

  12. really, really cool! and yes, very dangerous! they look like intestines to me. :)