Some spooky clouds today. Not quite as spooky as this, though I saw some of those two summers ago (we came out of a friend's house where we'd been hanging out all afternoon, looked up, and noticed that the sky suddenly had molars).
What I saw this afternoon looked more like this - the first two images. And I was sure we were in for it, but it turned out to be only light showers.
I grew up in the northeast, where thunderstorms will bucket down on you and someone will get struck by lightning and killed at least two or three times a summer. And there's very often hail. But really, lightning is the biggest thing to be afraid of in the northeast, though there are, very occasionally but more often in recent years, tornados. Severe thunderstorms in the northeast tend to look like this. If you're driving through the mountains when one of these comes crawling over them, you'll find yourself practically in the cloud. It's kind of like having a hand stretched above you with the fingers reaching down. Rather creepy. Very cool.
But in the midwest, I've seen some interesting cloud formations. One is the above-mentioned mammatus clouds, which I did see once on the east coast, in Hartford, CT, on our way to a play (the thunderclap when we arrived at the theater was so loud that all the car alarms along the street went off simultaneously). But other than that, I've only ever seen them in the midwest. The other is the roll cloud, which I've seen once, and it looks like this. I saw one of these coming from a ways off a few years ago and grabbed my video camera; I filmed it all the way in. (It was pretty anticlimactic when it got here, but it was still cool.)
When I figure out how to scan my photos from the hurricane in 1990 - can't think of it's name, but I was in CT at the time and it was spectacular - I will post them here.