West Seattle scenes: Sunset sighting over the Olympics

Thanks to everyone who sent photos of last night’s unusual sunset cloud formation over the Olympics. These four photos show how it evolved – above and immediately below are photos from Bruce; third photo from Brian P; fourth photo from Brian H.

Tried to look up the technical name for this kind of cloud – failed to find it. Anyone?

14 Replies to "West Seattle scenes: Sunset sighting over the Olympics"

  • joe May 7, 2010 (2:35 am)

    It looks like a Cumulonimbus, but they’re usually more dense than that one. Cool!

  • cathyw May 7, 2010 (6:05 am)

    This cloud formation was really spectacular, especially with the sun setting behind it. I’ve never seen anything like it. Looked like some kind of huge thunderhead?
    I was trying to figure out where on the Peninsula this was happening. It looked like it was behind the mountains rather than on top of them. Seemed too far south for Sequim though.
    Knew you would get lots of photos of it. Thanks for posting this.

  • Linda May 7, 2010 (6:32 am)

    It was awesome. I think it is called an anvil cloud.

  • Anne May 7, 2010 (7:11 am)

    We got a good laugh out of this last night. At one point there were two small clouds directly above the big “flat” cloud below, which was pink around the edges. Viewing it to the West from Morgan Junction, it looked just like a bikini.

  • Mary Jo May 7, 2010 (7:36 am)

    WOW! What a beautiful cloud formation. I’m a little south of the city and missed the beautiful sunset.

  • j May 7, 2010 (8:09 am)

    According to Walter on Q13 news, it was a thunderstorm.

  • Marie May 7, 2010 (8:16 am)

    Looks like the thunderstorms that we get down here in Tucson during the monsoon season, and they are cool. Especially at sunrise or sunset.

  • jwws May 7, 2010 (8:45 am)

    Cool. Does anyone else see a “devilish” face on the left in the middle photo……….

  • CJP May 7, 2010 (8:52 am)

    Cumulonimbus Incus (Anvil Cloud)

    Basically a cumulonimbus with an updraft at the front and high winds at the top that push out the anvil shape- underwhich there is often mammatus cloud formations, and hail.

  • Patrick May 7, 2010 (9:47 am)

    There used to be an animated computer model of one of these clouds at The Museum of Flight. It showed the external shape and then went inside to so the various updrafts and downdrafts involved.

  • M May 7, 2010 (11:38 am)

    They used to be called Thunderheads, or at least tha’s what I remember from my Power Squadron course a long time ago..

  • RobertSeattle May 7, 2010 (2:18 pm)

    Looks like a guy in Vancouver may have taken a picture of the same cloud, but from the north.


  • Annie Phillips May 8, 2010 (8:10 am)

    It was amazing from the south, too. I was “doing” Eagle Landing Steps (in Burien) at that hour, and every time I hit the beach, the cloud looked more bizarre.

  • sandy steiner May 10, 2010 (10:06 pm)

    I am out of state right now, but it was so nice to see our beautiful sunsets again.

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