These pictures were taken today in Oklahoma City and I am both baffled and curious as to what formation this may be. I was wondering if anyone had any idea?

unknown cloud 1

unknown cloud 2

Thank you!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ About what time will help in sourcing radar and satellite data to match. You're talking about the wide arc, yes? $\endgroup$ Apr 27 '18 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ It appears to me to possibly be either a gravity wave or an outflow boundary. As @JeopardyTempest indicated, satellite and radar data would help. If you don't know where to find that information, you could give us a date and approximate time and we may be able to. $\endgroup$
    – DavidH
    Apr 27 '18 at 12:02

Well, after a bit of research, I stumbled upon the following image:

copyright Roger Edwards

This is from a blog of two storm chasers Roger and Elke who I believe witnessed the same cloud formation as you. In the following link:


They refer to the formation as a 'rear flank arc cloud'.

So in conclusion I believe, the formation is a kind of arcus cloud. You can learn more about arcus clouds on wikipedia by following the link:


I hope I have been of help.

  • $\begingroup$ Useful searching... but though it may or may not be an arc cloud, it does not appear to be associated with any storm structure such as would entail a rear-flank downdraft. Thanks for the input! $\endgroup$ May 10 '18 at 23:31
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    $\begingroup$ @JeopardyTempest - to me it looks like a Arcus cloud - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcus_cloud. $\endgroup$
    – gansub
    May 27 '18 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ And these are common in gust fronts and they are sometimes known as shelf clouds. $\endgroup$
    – gansub
    May 27 '18 at 16:22

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