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:

NWS Mobile

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:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

    A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. a photo of a beach in Hawaii
    Transportation

    Could Hawaii Be Paradise For Hydrogen-Powered Public Transit?

    As prices drop for renewable power, some researchers hope the island state could be the ideal testbed for hydrogen fuel cells in public transportation.

  4. A toddler breathes from a nebulizer while sitting in a crib.
    Environment

    How Scientists Discovered What Dirty Air Does to Kids’ Health

    The landmark Children’s Health Study tracked thousands of children in California over many years—and transformed our understanding of air pollution’s harms.

  5. Environment

    No, Puerto Rico’s New Climate-Change Law Is Not a ‘Green New Deal’

    Puerto Rico just adopted legislation that commits it to generating all its power from renewable sources. Here’s what separates that from what’s going on in D.C.