Bridey Heing
November 09, 2015 8:14 am

When we saw this cloud spotted off the coast in Sydney, we weren’t sure we could believe that something like that actually exists, even in Oz.

Many cried Photoshop over the shelf-like cloud spotted and captured by Nick Moir, and it’s easy to see why. The cloud is intense, and people are just on the beach. Hanging out. Not running for their lives or concerned about it at all. Is Australia just that used to mind-boggling weirdness?

As it turns out, the answer is yes, and the cloud is real. Meteorologists are weighing in, assuring everyone that the cloud is a natural phenomenon and not a sign of the End of Days.

It’s called an Arcus cloud, and it occurs when downdrafts and updrafts of air meet ahead of a thunderstorm of cold front. Warm air is pushed up at the front, which then condenses and causes the cloud to look like a shelf.

But according to Weather.com, the clouds do mean something is coming:

“As the shelf cloud passes, you feel an abrupt shift in wind direction and increased wind speed, followed within minutes by heavy rain or hail. Wind gusts once the shelf cloud has passed may be quite strong, causing downed trees, tree limbs and power outages.”

So if you’re on the beach and spot one of these bad boys, you may have time to snap a few shots, but it’s probably best to head for cover.

(Image via Nick Moir/Twitter)

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