Mushroom Cloud of Doom?

Mushroom Cloud of Doom


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Does this cloud look like a mushroom in the sky? It appeared over Russia last month and had locals fearing that “doomsday” had arrived.

To many locals, the clouds looked like the ‘mushroom cloud’ of a nuclear explosion. The emergency services for the Siberian city of Kemerovo were deluged with calls. While some feared a nuclear strike, other thought it might be an explosion in one of the nearby coal mines. The media started calling it the Siberian “Cloud of Doom.”

However, this ‘mushroom cloud’ was just a cloud, albeit a massive cumulonimbus cloud.

Believe it or not, I have a fluffy grey kitten named Cumulonimbus! His purrs rumble and his tiny paws lash out like lightning. He was a tiny grey storm cloud with attitude, so it made sense to me—a self-professed weather geek—to name him after the stormy clouds that produce tornadoes.

It’s not Doomsday—just a supercell thundercloud. Source: Wikimedia

Fortunately, no one had declared war against the Siberian woodlands. Authorities were able to reassure the local residents that this unusually large cumulonimbus cloud was perfectly natural.

What is a Cumulonimbus Cloud?

Supercell storms are the strongest of thunderstorms, able to sprout tornadoes. (Indeed, within that week, Russia had a rare tornado rip through the city of Syktyvkar and reports of a tornado or water spout near the former Russian Olympic city of Sochi.)

The supercell storm cloud swirls as high as 55,000 to 70,000 feet above the ground and is topped by a spreading cloud mass called an anvil. If the updraft is strong and narrow enough, it can look like a mushroom cloud.

The “Doomsday” cloud was a supercell with a narrow updraft and huge anvil. Source: Wikimedia

Indeed, the residents of Kemerovo, once they were reassured, found the cloud inspirational. It is mushroom season in the Siberian woods and the cloud was obviously a sign that it was time to go out and collect some dinner.

So there was a happy ending. Instead of Doomsday, the Russians had stroganoff. May all our worries have such a tasty solution!

About This Blog

Evelyn Browning Garriss doesn't just blog about the weather forecast; she provides insight on WHY extreme weather is happening--and a heads up on weather to watch out for. A historical climatologist, Evelyn blogs about weather history, interesting facts about the weather, and upcoming climate events that affect your life--from farming to your grocery bill. Every week, we look forward to another great weather column from Evelyn. We encourage our weather watchers to post their comments and questions--and tell us what they think!

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Enjoyment for Russian Overseas Students

Its literally awesome the clouds are looking so beautiful , its really enjoyable scene for those students who went to study in Russia, they got opportunity to see nature. Nature is an awesome thing, in our present life we are so much busy in our daily routines of life and just got stuck in front of laptops and phones that we got no time to go out and enjoy the nature. Anyway thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful picture of clouds and this information, your website is really cool with a lot of informative stuff in it.

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