Mackerel Sky

As we were taking a walk, we saw this unusual cloud formations. I do not think I ever saw this before, or maybe I just was not looking. After researching on the internet, it seems to be called a Mackerel Sky. I only had my iPhone with me and I did not want to use the panorama mode. I shot 3 vertical images with a lot of overlap so I could assemble them in Photoshop. If I did not allow for a lot of overlap, it would have been a problem assembling them without a lot of distortion because of the small iPhone lens.

These clouds form high in the sky, and the afternoon sun catching their underbellies gives them a dappled, silvery sheen.

That’s because cirrus clouds – thin, wispy, collections of ice crystals – are harbingers of change. They form from small amounts of moisture in the air ahead of approaching weather fronts. As a front draws nearer, sturdier clouds gather and the weather changes.

Mackerel-type cirrocumulus can be an indicator of warm winds lifting up and flowing out from a distant thunderstorm. The ripples form when humid air at the far-flung edges of the storm system pushes past clear, cool air high in the sky. It’s the resistance of the cool air to this motion that causes the ripples.

Ridges of cloud form where water vapour cools and condenses, while troughs of space form where it warms and re-evaporates. When gentle ripples begin to form across the entire sky, it’s a good bet that the storm or its remnants will arrive in just a few hours.

I  guess at my age I am still learning something new! Now I just have to Remember IT!

mackeral sky v3

4 Comments on “Mackerel Sky

  1. Thanks Steve! They were even more impressive in watching the whole sky filled with them! Covered the whole sky around us. My iPhone in pano mode did not capture the wider scene with out distorting it!

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