I live in a sub-tropical region of Australia.

Earlier today, we experienced temperatures of 31C and it was clear about 2 hours before I went out and noticed the following clouds directly above my house - the entire sky either has this or is very grey.

There is a constant background of thunder and distant lightning is observed - the wind is picking up a bit, though still a breeze. No rain at this stage.

enter image description here


These are mammatus clouds. The signify instability (via negative buoyancy, convective mixing, entrainment or other sources) at the cloud base which causes the bulbous udder-like structure. As in your case they can often be observed in association with strong convection.

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  • $\begingroup$ The sky is getting very dark now - I suspected that they were mammatus - thank you for that! $\endgroup$ – user4727 Nov 8 '15 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ Just to confirm that it is mammatus. Such cloud formations generally don't last for long because of the inherent instability of their formation. Nice photo, by the way. $\endgroup$ – Gordon Stanger Nov 8 '15 at 6:37

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