(Pictures courtesy Tobias Konnersman via Facebook and @mommafo on Twitter.)
Not all rain clouds are as visible as the solo storm centered south of Shelbyville Wednesday evening.
Several folks, including Sara Polhill on Facebook made the point that this spectacular 4th Of July cloud bore a resemblance to a scene in the movie “Independence Day.”
Lori Shea Finnigan on Facebook said it reminded her of “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.” Meanwhile, Mark Lentz on Facebook simply says it “looks like Stewie’s head from Family Guy.” I had online reports of the cloud being seen as far away as Anderson and Muncie.
The real story is pretty mundane. It’s a textbook example of a cumulonimbus cloud and the puffy, vertical nature of the cloud reflects the rising air currents in the storm. Radar estimates show it put down half an inch to an inch of a rain in a narrow strip from south of Shelbyville down to just west of Greensburg.
The lack of OTHER clouds set the stage for this highly visible event. Tough act for the fireworks to follow!
PS: Many who posted about this made a reference to “heat lightning.” Lightning is lightning, but what most folks call heat lightning is simply the light show from a distant storm. Light travels farther than sound. If you’re more than ten miles away from a lightning strike it’s doubtful you’d hear the corresponding thunder.