Rare 'roll cloud' forms over Block Island
Thunderstorms can produce some amazing phenomena. We've all seen the anvil-like cloud that shoots to the sky on a hot summer day. Just last week we had reports of mammatus clouds right here in Rhode Island. But this past weekend was one for the books.
Sunday afternoon had some hit or miss thunderstorms as a cold front swept across southern New England. On Block Island, people saw something out of the ordinary: a roll cloud. Unlike the more common "shelf cloud", these tubular clouds are completely detached from the thunderstorm's base. Sunday's formation started with a cold front coming from the mainland interacting with a sea breeze. Those opposing winds generated the slight circulation.
Pretty cool stuff!
-Meteorologist Zack Green