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Old 15th Apr 2001, 20:00   #1 (permalink)
airtaxi
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Question Mammalian Clouds

Flying to the Channel Islands late last summer I noticed classic 'mammalian cloud' formations. I've not seen it since and can anyone out there explain how/why they form? I know I should know but its been a while since I sat the ATPL exams! Many thanks..
 
Old 15th Apr 2001, 20:20   #2 (permalink)
cossack
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A quick search came up with this explanation:

"Mammatus are formed on the underside of a thunderstorm anvil and are a rare example of clouds formed by subsiding air. They are often seen after the worst of thunderstorm has passed. The warming produced by the sinking air in the anvil causes evaporation and the cloud droplets form transparent water vapour at the edge of the cloud."

Hope this helps
 
Old 15th Apr 2001, 21:05   #3 (permalink)
Speedbird252
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Gotta agree, my version is that Mamma are caused by cold down-currents carrying cloudlets downwards.

A weird one indeed!!
 
Old 16th Apr 2001, 00:02   #4 (permalink)
airtaxi
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Thanks guys

As I recall there was a huge thunderhead/anvil fairly close and it was all very impressive-just glad I wasn't in it!
 
Old 16th Apr 2001, 00:12   #5 (permalink)
cossack
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Apparantly the Mammata clouds are not that bad to fly through. Wouldn't want to get that close to a CB though!
Maybe XV208 Snoopy could enlighten us as to his experiences of the phenomenon.
 
Old 16th Apr 2001, 03:47   #6 (permalink)
rolling circle
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Mammalian???

You have led a sheltered life, airtaxi. The latin term mammatus refers only to a (relatively) small part of the mammalian anatomy. Recall the shape of the clouds you saw and try again - I'm sure it will come to you unless, of course, you were bottle-fed.
 
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