Several photos of what appears to be a tornado circulated on social media. These photos made social media users panic. Majority of those who have seen the photos were scared that something worse might happen.
If you look at the photos, it appears as if a major disaster is going to happen anytime soon. Those who have personally seen it from where it took place, feared that there’s an upcoming hurricane or tornado.
These scary-looking clouds appeared over Beaufort, Sabah Malaysia at around 7:30am last June 27. Together with the cloud formation was heavy downpour that made residents frightened. Residents tried to remain calm while observing the weather and the surroundings. Teachers and school facilitators tried to be with their students to avoid any unnecessary panic.
According to Azmir Abdul Razak, the district police chief Deputy Superintendent of Beaufort, said that:
“It was seen for about an hour, when it was raining heavily.” He added that “Everyone was more worried about the heavy rain and hoping it would not flood.”
He also said that citizens were curious as to what is causing the cloud formation but they did not panic.
So, what causes this cloud formation?
These clouds are called shelf clouds. Shelf clouds are usually seen at the leading edge of a thunderstorm. It may look like a tornado but this type of clouds is safe and should not be correlated to tornadoes. Shelf clouds generate strong, sudden winds and heavy rains. The wind and rain it generates are more intense than a regular thunderstorm.
The Philippines also had its fair share of weird cloud formations. The most popular cloud formation was probably the one that was seen in San Carlos City, Pangasinan.
It looked like pink hills in the sky but it’s actually a rare cloud formation called mammatus clouds. It is formed when the sinking air is much cooler that the air around it.
So, the next time you see weird cloud formation in the sky, don’t panic! Stay calm and just enjoy looking at that marvelous and rare cloud formations.