RUTLEDGE – The appearance of a cloud with a shape similar to that of a tornado was captured by Alicia Pacheco as she drove towards Rutledge on Hwy. 11W Monday afternoon.
Grainger Today submitted the photo to the National Weather Service in Morristown to request identification and information about it.
The NWS responded, “These clouds are called scud clouds, and they are often mistaken for wall clouds or tornadoes. We had several reports of these scud clouds with afternoon thunderstorms yesterday (Monday), and some of our meteorologists spotted them locally, too.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines a scud cloud as “small, ragged, low cloud fragments that are unattached to a larger cloud base and often seen with and behind cold fronts and thunderstorm gust fronts. Such clouds generally are associated with cool moist air, such as thunderstorm outflow.”
Scud clouds are just rising clouds due to increased low level humidity. They will not rotate and will rise slowly, according to the NWS.