Wall Clouds

  • Wall clouds are a lowering of cloud base at low levels in the storm
  • Wall clouds are a visible manifestation of the mesocyclone at low levels, in other words, the wall cloud contains significant rotation
  • The tornado often forms from within the wall cloud, with the funnel cloud descending to the ground
  • Here is a wall cloud at low levels from which a funnel cloud is descending
  • How the tornado forms is still a mystery....., but what do we know about tornadoes???
image adopted from Meteorology Today by C. Donald Ahrens  1994 West Publishing Company

photos by N. Atkins