wall cloud


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Related to wall cloud: Shelf cloud

wall cloud

n.
A rapidly rotating, disk-shaped cloud with sloped sides, usually from 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) to 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) in diameter, descending from a cumulonimbus cloud associated with a powerful thunderstorm. Tornadoes typically form beneath wall clouds.
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Storm spotters will look for a low, rain-free cloud base around that area, which is called a wall cloud. If this cloud is rotating, it's possible a tornado may be produced.
An ominous looking orange-brown wall cloud filled the western horizon.
The chaser, air- or ground-borne, intercepts the storm after the wall cloud, the rain, hail and massive winds have passed.
"It was about two miles south of Highway 98 when I saw the wall cloud front of me."
Those in the audience learned what to look for in a rare supercell thunderstorm like the one that spawned last June's tornado, which usually features a wall cloud, which can produce a tornado, and a shelf cloud that precedes a squall line like the one that scared people in town a week later.
By the time I climbed into the camper, a wall cloud was fast approaching.