What causes mammatus?

David M. Schultz, K. M. Kanak, J. M. Straka, R. J. Trapp, B. Gordon, D. Zrnic, G. H. Bryan, A. Durant, T. J. Garrett, P. Klein, D. K. Lilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To address some of the most likely formation mechanisms of mammatus, high-resolution, idealized numerical modeling experiments of portions of cumulonimbus anvils initialized with soundings taken in the vicinity of observed mammatus were performed. These simulations were believed to be the first to model mammatus-like clouds explicitly. A second proposed mechanism, cloud-base detrainment instability (CDBI), was also tested. Evidence was obtained that the CBDI criterion is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for mammatus formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-147
Number of pages2
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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