MSS explains how those sinister clouds rolling over the city and into your social feeds were formed

PHOTO: Facebook / Devesh Singh

In what appeared to be a sign of an apocalypse (just another day in 2020, we suppose), the skies over the Central Business District were engulfed in dark, foreboding wave-like clouds that threatened to rain death and destruction on Monday (Nov 2). 

But really though, they’re just shelf clouds — one of nature’s most alarming and awesome weather phenomena

“The formation of the shelf cloud on Nov 2, 2020, was due to strong daytime heating of land areas coupled with convergence of winds over Singapore and the surrounding vicinity,” the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) told AsiaOne, clarifying that it was not directly associated with super typhoon Goni, which devastated parts of the Philippines on Sunday (Nov 1).

The sinister clouds were spotted by folks across central Singapore, who couldn’t help but record the spectacle and share pictures and videos of it on social media. 

MSS explained that the fearsome cloud formation is a cumulonimbus arcus cloud, or commonly referred to as a shelf cloud. 

“These clouds are sometimes observed in Singapore during an intense thunderstorm,” MSS noted. 

“They typically form along the leading edge or gust front of the cumulonimbus cloud (dense, towering convective clouds that give rise to thunderstorms), when the surrounding warm moist air rises and condensation takes place, creating the ragged edges of the cloud.”

MSS also expects the first fortnight of November 2020 to see short-duration moderate to heavy thundery showers with frequent lightning over parts of the island between the afternoon and evening on most days. On the few days that aren’t rainy though, the temperature could soar to a scorching 35°C.