Mammatus Cloud in Durham on 6th February 2022

Mammatus Cloud in Durham

The following was observed just after the passage of a very potent shower on 6th February 2022. The ‘cows udder’ appearance of Mammatus Cloud is due to intense updraughts in the base of the cloud, effectively throwing precipitation back upwards, against gravity. They can be intensely turbulent, and aircraft are best advised to avoid them if they are on a flight path. The cold front that passed through Durham actually resulted in a sleet shower and snow was observed on the high ground in the County further south and west. Not really unusual for February, but we had so  little …

Read the full post

7 Rare clouds types | Amazing Weather

Mammatus cloud

Most of us see clouds every day, but only very occasionally will you be lucky enough to spot one of these 7 particularly rare types – some of which can only be seen in very specific circumstances or locations. Noctilucent clouds One of the rarest and most beautiful of all cloud types. They are found at very high altitudes – up to around 250,000 feet Visible on clear, summers nights between 45 °N and 80°N latitude ,they appear illuminated by a blue or occasionally red or green light. We still do not know much about how they are formed, but …

Read the full post

Noctilucent Cloud Display over NE England June 2019

noctilucent clouds by mike ridley photography

Noctilucent Clouds over Durham City, June 17th/18th 2019 by Mike Ridley Photography Some of you eagle-eyed skywatchers will have noticed a ghostly glow in the sky on the way back from the pub in recent days. Was it real? Was it just an illusion caused by too much Gin? No, what you saw was real and is called ‘Noctilucence’. It is a spectacular display of very high clouds. Noctilucence is exhibited by clouds that shine at night (Noctilucent means ‘night shining’ in Latin). Noctilucent Clouds exist in the upper atmosphere (Mesosphere), at a height of around 50 miles. They are composed of …

Read the full post

Nacreous Clouds over Durham, Feb 2016

picture of Pearlescence from Nacreous Cloud Display

  A fantastic display of nacreous (mother of pearl) clouds occured across NE England in February 2016. These photos were taken above Durham Cathedral and Castle at about 7:15am. Nacreous Clouds are quite rare. They can glow very brightly due to iridescence and are much higher than other tropospheric clouds, a height of 15-30km above the ground is typical. They are caused by wave-like motion of air, normally due to the proximity of mountain ranges. Best viewing is just before dawn and just after sunset.

Shelf Cloud over Durham, July 2015

Picture of Shelf Cloud over Gilesgate, Durham

  This incredible Shelf Cloud, looking like an alien spacecraft from the film “Independence Day” came in over Durham in July 2015. Although it looked very threatening, on this occasion not much rain fell from it. It’s the best example I’ve seen of a Shelf Cloud in the UK. On 1st July 2015, the temperature hit 30 degC in Durham, being only the 30th such occasion since 1850 to reach the mark. The actual max was 30.2 degC. It was a very hot sultry day, which quickly degenerated into thunderstorms with rain and hail. Met Office : Heatwave 1st July …

Read the full post