Beautiful and Dramatic Thunderhead Clouds


After receiving a lot of great feedback from the post 12 Awe-Inspiring Photos of Lightning, we decided to follow it up by showcasing the stunning clouds that are associated with nature's light show. Called cumulonimbus or thunderheads, they're the most dramatic looking clouds with their tall and imposing shape. They grow vertically instead of horizontally, forming into dense towers that can reach 20,000 feet, though they've also been known to go as high as 75,000 feet. (In comparison, cruising altitude for commercial airliners is 30,000 feet.)

The mature cumulonimbus cloud has a distinctive flat, anvil shaped top which is formed when the their tops encounter high winds, which cause them to spread out sideways. The presence of thunderheads means that severe weather conditions like heavy rains, hail, lightning and thunder are imminent. So, as stunning as they might be to photograph, they also carry with them a certain amount of risk.

Today, we've rounded up 25 of the most fantastic images of thunderheads we could find. From the beautiful and colorful to the dark and ominous, enjoy nature's beauty at its finest.

Above photo credit:號獃


Photo credit: METAL_FIRECRACKER


Photo credit: Nate Zeman


Photo credit: Greg Ness


Photo credit: Mark Duffy


Photo credit: Loren Rye


Photo credit: Scott Hudson


Photo credit: Steve Coleman


Photo credit: Robin Lakeman


Photo credit: Stephen McNulty


Photo credit: Li Xin


Photo credit: Mike Olbinksi


Photo credit: Niccolò Ubalducci


Photo credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli


Photo credit: Matt Granz


Photo credit: Bradlee


Photo credit: Jeff Berkes


Photo credit: Mark Riddick


Photo credit: Mike Hollingshead


Photo credit: James Bo Insogna


Photo credit: James Bo Insogna


Photo credit: Steven Maguire


Photo credit: Jason Clarke


Photo credit: Giovanni Tarantini


Photo credit: James Collier

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Tags: beautiful, clouds, dramatic, photo, photography

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