Debbie Williams/WKRG TV

Is it safe to come out from under the bed now?

There are clouds, and then there are clouds: dark, billowing behemoths loaded with so much doom they make you want to crawl back into a diaper.

Thursday afternoon a cloud of the latter variety blew into Pensacola, Florida, and Debbie Williams at WKRG-TV was good enough to snag a photo so the Internet can be as aghast as these people on the beach. (Why aren't they running?) Here it is, in all its horizon-eating monstrosity:

The National Weather Service also identified it as a shelf cloud, which are low, wedge-shaped gusters often attached to the bases of towering thunderstorms. And indeed, storms were in the forecast for yesterday... and today, and tomorrow, into infinity:

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I can think of few clouds that carry this dominating bearing: last July's exploding mushroom over Denver must be one, and another would be 2011's "tsunami in the sky" that appeared in Nebraska after toppling through a space-time hole from the terrifying lightning blizzards of Jupiter. But for this year, the monster over Pensacola is so far in the lead for anxiety fuel. Here are a couple more shots of it:

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