Meteorology (Weather)/Strange Sky

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Strange Sky
Strange Sky  
A few days ago we had several hours of severe thunderstorms. During this time we had a brief period when the rain stopped. When I went out with my dog for a quick walk I noticed the surreal quality of the sky - orange/pink color and cotton ball like clouds. Within minutes of finishing the walk, the thunderstorms returned. I have never seen a sky like this before - I do know that a cold front and warm front had come together to produce the thunderstorms. Is this type of sky common. Thank-you for your time.

Answer
Hi Glen

You might have seen mammatus clouds:

http://tinyurl.com/mamatus-clouds

When a cold front catches up to a warm front the front is called an occluded front:

http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/%28Gh%29/guides/mtr/af/frnts/ofdef.rxml

Usually  thunderstorms are associated and in front of the cold front.

Airmass thunderstorms are not associated with fronts:

http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints2/458/

And to answer your question, mammatus clouds are usually associated with severe thunderstorms and are not common:

http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/%28Gh%29/guides/mtr/cld/cldtyp/oth/mm.rxml  

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Donald Rosenfeld

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Any questions (except private) answered from the 1st grade level on up pertaining to any aspect of Weather. I am a 20 year member of the American Meteorological society and a long time forecaster of eastern United States snow storms and Hurricanes.

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