Bizarre mammatus clouds from around the world

I love weird weather. Hot, sunny days are all well and good but I find stormy, dramatic skies especially thrilling. Even when they pour water on me and mess up my hair. This morning, from the windows of our office in Southend-on-Sea, we were treated to a particularly incredible sight – mammatus clouds!

Here’s a photo I took of them:

Mammatus clouds over Southend-on-Sea

Mammatus clouds are clouds that have numerous pouches hanging underneath. They’re basically clouds with udders. Indeed, “mammatus” comes from the Latin “mamma” which means “udder” or “breast”, and you can see why they were given that name. As well as having a breast-like appearance, mammatus clouds are often portents of very stormy weather. (Unfortunately, at the time of writing, we’ve only had a few pitiful rumbles… Very disappointing!)

Here are some incredible photos of mammatus clouds that have been taken around the world:

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

These ones look very bizarre indeed. They almost look like giant balloons. Or nefarious UFOs with plans of world domination, of course…

Mammatus clouds over Regina

New York City, USA

I love the colours of these mammatus clouds over New York City… I’m guessing this photo was taken in the evening.

Mammatus clouds over New York City

Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Olympic Valley, California, USA

This is probably my favourite photo (after the one I took, obviously). Everything about the sky just looks so eerie and foreboding…

Mammatus clouds over Squaw Valley Ski Resort

San Francisco Bay, California, USA

It’s beginning to look like the US might be the best place to go and see mammatus clouds. Either that or Americans just spend a lot of time taking photos of clouds… This one’s quite pretty. I love the way the sun’s rays are streaming out through the clouds…

Mammatus clouds over San Francisco Bay

Central New South Wales, Australia

This photo was taken from an altitude of 17,000 feet, so you can really see the udders close-up…

Mammatus clouds over New South Wales

Sierras de Córdoba Mountains, Argentina

This is definitely the subtlest photo; the mammatus clouds aren’t as obvious as in the other photos. Still very strange and pretty, though.

Mammatus clouds over Sierras de Córdoba Mountains

Montana, USA

I love the combination of the rounded mammatus clouds and the streaky clouds (I’m sure there’s a more scientific name for them…) around the edges in this photo…

Mammatus clouds over Montana

Have you been lucky enough to catch some mammatus clouds (or any kind of weird weather, for that matter) on your travels? If so, send your photos to us at or post them on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to tell us where you were when you took them!

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About Dom Stapleton

Dom Stapleton

As well as being the world’s northernmost capital city, Reykjavik in Iceland is also an incredible place to visit.

We stayed in a hotel right in the middle of the city and spent most days walking around from there. The main thing we noticed (apart from the cold, of course) was that the people are so friendly. At home, trying to cross the road is a nightmare, but in Reykjavik, the cars are literally queuing up to let you across.

When my partner and I went, in January 2013, the sun only started rising at about 10 am, which was a strange experience. And it got dark at about 4 pm each day!

Dom works in our marketing team

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