HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. – A thunderstorm brewing along the Gulf Coast shores put on quite a cloud show as it approached NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi Tuesday morning.
"We captured the greatest 'shelf cloud' ever captured today from our HQ building at Naval Oceanography," LCDR Bobby Dixon told FOX Weather.
Shelf clouds most often form along the leading edge of an intense line of thunderstorms. They are low-hanging clouds that have a well-defined wedge-shaped appearance.
A shelf cloud is often accompanied by gusts of wind, with the precipitation (rain, hail or both) then following on its heels.
As rain-cooled air rushes downward out of the thunderstorms – known as a downdraft – warm air is lifted upward out ahead of the storms to replace that cooler air. When that warm air rises, it condenses and forms the shelf cloud that can quickly become the star of social media feeds in the region.
Stronger shelf clouds can bring damaging wind gusts, but there were no reports of any damage from this one.
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