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Weird clouds

By Text by John Rossheim | Photo editing by Connie Ricca Slide 1 of 10: Mammatus clouds

Mammatus clouds

You'll often see mammatus clouds during severe weather. These blankets of low-hanging pouches can persist for hours, though the life of an individual storm cell is measured in minutes. "Very typically you see mammatus associated with thunderstorms, when the air is filled with descending particles," says Peggy LeMone, a senior scientist emerita at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. LeMone, who has kept her head in the clouds for decades, grew up poring over the International Cloud Atlas. "I'm like a meteorological bird-watcher," she says.

BING: CLOUDS ARE THE REASON FOR THIS PLANET'S INTRICATE LOOK.

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