Seeing Shapes in Clouds – Tornadoes and Pterodactyls

Massive collections of tiny water droplets. This is what clouds are. I can’t say I understand the mechanics of why they stay up in the air any better than I understand why an airplane stays aloft. But let’s just say they do, and I’ll show you some of the clouds that have passed over my house.

In my part of the world, the weather usually arrives from the West, blown in by the winds that are almost always present to some degree. Now and then an East Wind will blow and it will bring in the smell of the nearby Feed Lot. Or a South East Wind will blow from, I don’t know, maybe the United States, and we will feel quite unsettled and threatened until the wind shifts and comes from the West again. Shifting winds blowing ever changing clouds across the sky.

When I was a kid, I liked to watch clouds like this drift overhead. I liked to imagine they were a particular object or animal. This group of clouds didn’t bring to mind anything recognizable, but they are what I call Safe Clouds. They don’t forecast any particularly disagreeable weather event.

This group of Safe Clouds were casually passing over when a group of darker, Angry Clouds appeared. Now, instead of looking for shapes in clouds, I looked for shapes in the remaining blue sky.

These were Popcorn Clouds. They formed quickly and were fascinating to watch, but they also told me it was time to pack up the gardening tools because a thunderstorm was on the way.

A few Wispy Clouds were being crowded out by Safe Clouds, Angry Clouds and Popcorn Clouds. This was a very busy cloud day.

Angry Clouds and Popcorn Clouds dominated this sky. The Angry Clouds were scooting over at a much lower elevation than the others, and were forming all sorts of interesting shapes, like whales and pterodactyls. These were once Safe clouds but they had crossed over to the Dark Side.

tornado funnel cloudThis was a Funnel Cloud. On a scale of 1 to 10, this cloud was at the high end of interesting, but not one I wanted to have pass over the top of my house. It was a very noisy cloud, and for a few long seconds it sounded like a train was passing right over head.

Today, well, today the clouds are a dull blanket of grey. A light rain is falling, and they say this will continue for days. Today’s clouds aren’t very photogenic.

Every cloud has its silver lining but it is sometimes a little difficult to get it to the mint.
– Don Marquis –