Rare Sight: Lone Cumulonimbus Cloud Hovers Over Galveston, Texas

Brian Donegan
Published: July 12, 2018

A cumulonimbus cloud was spotted from Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
(Instagram/titanitedemon)

Residents of Galveston, Texas, were treated to the breathtaking sight of a lone cumulonimbus cloud associated with a thunderstorm dumping rain over Houston on Wednesday.

A cumulonimbus cloud is a towering, vertical cloud containing a thunderstorm, forming from water vapor being forced upward by powerful upper-air currents.

A cumulonimbus cloud was spotted from Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
(Plan-it ink Photography, Treva Wygle)

These clouds can form in squall lines, in clusters or alone, as the one did Wednesday. They are capable of producing thunder, lightning, hail, strong winds and tornadoes.

(MORE: Why Pop-Up Summer Thunderstorms Are Among the Hardest Weather to Predict)

A cumulonimbus cloud was spotted from Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
(Instagram/thebotanicaljourney)

In this case, the cumulonimbus cloud was associated with a thunderstorm that was dumping heavy rain over parts of the Houston metro area, some 45 miles to the northwest.

Radar imagery from the evening of July 11, 2018, shows an isolated thunderstorm dumping heavy rainfall on parts of the Houston metro area.

It was the very definition of what meteorologists refer to as "isolated thunderstorms." As you can see on the radar image above, there were no other thunderstorms around the Houston and Galveston areas at the time.

In fact, skies were mostly clear outside of this one thunderstorm in southeastern Texas.

Brian Donegan is a meteorologist at weather.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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