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Mammatus Clouds Over Maghera - Sept 18th 2006

It had been an exciting day for weather watchers in N. Ireland on Sept 18th 2006 as many meteorologists were predicting the possibility of dangerous tornadoes. I had been keeping watch on the sky throughout the day, however unfortunately I did not seen any tornado activity. We did get torrential rain, hail, and sudden strong gusts of wind. In the evening when the most severe weather past us a tremendous Mammatus cloud display appeared in the NE sky. I have seen a selection of Mammatus displays over the years but I have never witnessed a display that was as complex and highly developed as this one. on show were numerous large, white, and slightly brown coloured bags hanging from the clouds making for a spectacular scene over Maghera. I had my camera close to hand and managed to capture a selection of images through my open bedroom window...

Mama 1

Looking NE at the retreating display. The mammatus are on the rear and underside of a very large anvil on a cumulonimbus cell.

Mama 2

Slight zoom into the central complex area.

Mama 4

Nice binary form to the pouches.

Vertical shot over rooftops

More and more new pouches where forming under the anvil by the min.


This looks nice. You can make out the shape of the anvil against a blue sky background. This was a large cell.

Still leaning out my bedroom window and snapping images non stop. You can see the side of my house on the L. Mammatus clouds are formed by sinking air and are a sign of strong instability in the cloud indicating that a severe weather event has just occurred. There where thunderstorms in N. Ireland today so this cell was probably one of those culprits now in its decaying stage. I hope to catch plenty more of these awesome looking clouds.

Martin McKenna

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