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Roll cloud spotted over Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / April 23, 2011

Roll Cloud TorontoA rare roll cloud was spotted over Toronto yesterday evening. We don't normally post about weather — unless it's extreme — but given how spooky-looking these things are, I'll break that rule. Formed by downdrafts associated with thunderstorms, these clouds detach from those around them and appear to "roll" slowly around a horizontal axis. Although they look like tornadoes turned horizontal, they're not actually dangerous (nor will they suddenly turn vertical).

Nevertheless, they're damn cool looking. That is all.

Roll Cloud Toronto

Update (April 24th):

Here are some very cool photos from Billybee57 on Flickr, who caught the cloud just as it arrived at Toronto's skyline.

Roll Cloud TorontoRoll Cloud TorontoPhotos one and two by dieburg401 and Jim Bartlett, respectively.



Greg / April 23, 2011 at 08:07 pm
This thing scared the crap out of me yesterday. Looks like a massive alien tentacle. They're coming!
Rico / April 23, 2011 at 08:10 pm
Blame it on the rich man, or Harper.
belvedere / April 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm
now that is very cool. nvr seen anything like it.
Roland / April 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm
All things serve the beam.
Calvin Tower / April 24, 2011 at 01:26 am
If you want to run and play, come along the BEAM today!
louise / April 24, 2011 at 10:44 am
thats a cloud mostly spotted in the northern territory in australia, people chase these clouds to go cloud surfing, no kiddin!
Neville / April 24, 2011 at 10:59 am
Fantastic! What time was that?
electric / April 24, 2011 at 11:58 am
Now, that is something quite rare!
tdk / April 24, 2011 at 02:53 pm
They have these things often in atlanta. I had no idea there was a name for it. It looked like a mothership entering the atmosphere. Especially when they are grey in color.
mike / April 24, 2011 at 03:45 pm
they are not associated with thunderstorms. they are caused by approaching cold fronts. thunderstorm associated clouds are more rough and edgy looking, and they last for a short period of time.
choppery / April 24, 2011 at 04:17 pm
It's been a decade since I last uttered this, but holy Donnie Darko.
Jason / April 24, 2011 at 05:06 pm
It's Ford's fault. He's outsourcing clouds.
Sean / April 24, 2011 at 09:50 pm
Thanks for sharing those pictures.
Jason / April 25, 2011 at 03:22 am
I'm really quite surprised no one has posted "It looks like a giant doobie!"
Michael / April 25, 2011 at 06:43 am
It looks like a giant doobie!
ryan / April 29, 2011 at 09:47 pm
omg look at that...... see I told u the planet is fine; we are screwed
Jayvon / May 20, 2012 at 05:06 am
WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!! That crazy!!!
Jayvon replying to a comment from Jason / May 20, 2012 at 05:06 am
me / July 11, 2013 at 08:39 am
its from david sazuki'sjet
Other Cities: Montreal