Looks like the tornado sirens may have been somewhere between a close call and a false alarm (and in any case, the Weather Service never issued a warning – not that this necessarily means anything to anyone who’s lived in this area for the past ten years); a Crawford County deputy called in a funnel cloud, and radar indicated rotation. A little while after the hailstorm I poked my head out the window and found some mammatus clouds.

Mammatus clouds - March 9, 2006

It’s interesting what strange memories pop up sometimes, when you least expect them, and these clouds got me started on a very weird trip down memory lane.

Mammatus clouds - March 9, 2006
I seem to remember poking around some weather book in junior high or somewhere thereabouts with my friend Robert, and running into a description of mammatus clouds by another name, “mammaltocumulus.”

Mammatus clouds - March 9, 2006
As was typical for us, we immediately began referring to this cloud formation as “mammal toe” cumulus. (We would use bizarrely exaggerated phonetics to mangle words and phrases like this constantly.)

Mammatus clouds - March 9, 2006
They’re actually called mammatus clouds because they resemble cow udders – hence the mammary reference. So…yeah. Boob clouds. (Suits me fine, I was never really a leg cloud man.)

There’s actually quite a bit of damage to buildings around here, including some missing roofs and collapsed walls. Looks like this was officially a close call.

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Earl Green ()

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