Wall cloud

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wall cloud

(Sometimes referred to as pedestal cloud.) A local, often abrupt lowering from a cumulonimbus cloud base into a low-hanging accessory cloud, normally a kilometer or more in diameter.

A wall cloud marks the lower portion of a very strong updraft, usually associated with a supercell or severe multicell storm. It typically develops near the precipitation region of the cumulonimbus. Wall clouds that exhibit significant rotation and vertical motions often precede tornado formation by a few minutes to an hour.

Fujita, T. 1959. A detailed analysis of the Fargo tornadoes of June 20, 1957. U.S. Wea. Bur. Res. Paper 42. p.15.

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