Lower Grand Coulee - Mammatus Clouds

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (14)

Jim Nieland on August 2, 2011

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the comment on the boulders. They are nicely arranged. There are many more in the area that would make good photo subjects.

The strange clouds above are called "mammatus". They form due to strong updrafts associated with towering cumulonimbus (thunderstorms). They are a sign of unstable air aloft. I love your photo!

chris metz on September 20, 2011

Thanks Jim, I'm honored to receive your compliments! I have a series of snapshots before and after this one...it was an incredible day to be in the coulee with a camera. Those mammatus clouds appeared first as ripples then as bubbles following behind the center of a summer thunderstorm.

Steve Petty on January 14, 2012

Hi Chris. I came across your shot whilst looking through the "difficult or unsafe" shot group. Lovely to capture the mammatus clouds and great to capture them in such a spectacular landscape. I've come across them twice in my life now and was lucky enough to have my camera with me both times, well.... the second time was right over our heads at home in the heart of France. Nice Shot.

chris metz on January 16, 2012

Thanks. I've seen them many times in the center of the state of Washington, but never illuminated by the setting sun as they were on this day. When you saw them in France, were they accompanied by bad weather?

Steve Petty on February 21, 2012

Hi again Chris, in response to your question about the Mammatus clouds , yes, absolutely. They were a fore warning of the approaching storm. They were actually right over us for about 3-5 minutes before the wind hit us. When the wind did arrive it hit us in a tremendous gust and blast of sound that simply didn't die down but just slowly increased in power. Fortunately our new roof withstood the battering. I was rounding round with the camera whilst my wife and children were running round "battening down the hatches". Not sure if I got my priorities right!

Matej Novák on November 2, 2012

Hi, nice foto and beautiful Country. Greetings from Slovakia :))

chris metz on November 19, 2012

Thank you mazz.sk!

chris metz on December 15, 2012

Thank you CidonioRinaldi

fucilazo on February 13, 2013

Great capture! Like

Regards, Ezequiel

TitTornade on March 11, 2013

Ow ! Chris, thanks for the link !! These mammatus are very impressive !!

Isn't a sign of an imminent tornado ?

Frightening !

L + F !

Greetings from France.

chris metz on March 25, 2013

Thank you very much! No tornado, TitTornade,...I think it was just a strong thunderstorm.

TitTornade on March 25, 2013

Fortunately ! No heavy tornado ! But a wonderful picture !

chris metz on April 10, 2013

Thanks TitTornade. There are no tornadoes in Washington, but I would love to see one or photograph one someday.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 23, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by chris metz
    • Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL
    • Taken on 2009/04/13 17:28:45
    • Exposure: 0.005s (1/200)
    • Focal Length: 55.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/9.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash