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Scud Cloud, Wall Cloud or Tornado

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I took this picture of a low-hanging cloud on August 27th, 2016 in Taylor, Michigan around 3-4 p.m. EDT.

59284adee20e4_PhotoAug2732122PM.thumb.jpg.fe1657adc129247a9a95c04960523037.jpg

It's not a good picture that will give me a definitive answer, but you can see a low-hanging cloud across the horizon. It doesn't appear to be detached from the storm base. I didn't have a good view or advantage point to begin with, so I didn't notice any spinning or rotation in it, but it did move across the horizon relatively quick. The SPC only had us in a Marginal risk for severe weather that day.

 

I took this picture of the thunderstorm itself in Lincoln Park, Michigan around 1-2 p.m. EDT.59284f444b66a_PhotoAug2714823PM.thumb.jpg.b04342b33a71891a9f73d0d822fb1be4.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, weatherwiz said:

Quite difficult to tell from the picture alone.  Was it slopping into the rain or towards the rain-free base?  

Thank you for the reply.

From what I remember, the rain started to come down as I was driving north, where the low-hanging cloud was to me. The cloud itself moved from west to east across the horizon relatively quick. If I had to guess, I'd say there was no rain where the low-hanging cloud itself was, but it moved behind trees and buildings as I was driving and then “dissipated.”

The NWS Detroit thought it was a scud cloud; Dr. Greg Forbes thought it was a wall cloud; a local meteorologist thought it was cold-air outflow from a nearby thunderstorm. Obviously, I'm not going to get a definitive answer with a picture like that, but it was hanging awfully low from the cloud above and didn't appear to be detached.

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Interesting set of opinions haha.  I guess another question to ask is whether or not this was at the leading edge of the storm or back edge?  Based on the description you just mentioned I want to say leading edge?  If that's the case my guess would be shelf cloud.  Another thing to do would be check out velocity data and see if any rotation was present.  

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42 minutes ago, weatherwiz said:

Interesting set of opinions haha.  I guess another question to ask is whether or not this was at the leading edge of the storm or back edge?  Based on the description you just mentioned I want to say leading edge?  If that's the case my guess would be shelf cloud.  Another thing to do would be check out velocity data and see if any rotation was present.  

I think you may be right, it was probably the leading edge. I know shelf clouds can hang as low as that cloud in my picture, but from what I remember, it didn't have the “typical” appearance of a shelf cloud.  What you're seeing in that picture was the only cloud that was hanging from the storm base, like its own fragment or something.

All I know is, there was no damage reported, so a tornado is out of the question. Still not sure if it was a wall cloud.

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18 hours ago, Inactive said:

I think you may be right, it was probably the leading edge. I know shelf clouds can hang as low as that cloud in my picture, but from what I remember, it didn't have the “typical” appearance of a shelf cloud.  What you're seeing in that picture was the only cloud that was hanging from the storm base, like its own fragment or something.

All I know is, there was no damage reported, so a tornado is out of the question. Still not sure if it was a wall cloud.

It very well could be outflow induced but I think if that was the case you would have seen rising motion involved and condensation.  Interesting feature though!!

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It looks like its what's known as the "bear's cage." This is the most dangerous part of the storm, as a tornado (a.k.a. the "bear") can be obscured behind a rain shield, striking with little warning. Visibility is low, and damaging hail, strong winds, and flash floods are also a hazard.

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