The fist of an angry cloud

By Phil Plait | July 16, 2011 7:00 am

I glanced out my office window the other day and saw what is clearly a sign that the weather is ticked off about something:

Go cloud! Punch that sky!

I was thinking at first the cloud was the result of a big convective updraft; warm air screaming upwards and forming a puffy column. A couple of weeks ago I saw this happen in a ginormous cumulonimbus storm cloud. There were several rapidly rising columns of air moving up so quickly they were forming pilei, which are caps of water vapor that look like little shock waves at the top of the cloud.

However, when I was looking at this fist cloud just a few minutes later as it blew east toward my house, I saw this was just a perspective effect, and it was just a normal puffy cloud.

Too bad. I was getting into it. Give it to the man! Fight the stratus quo!

Related posts:

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Like the fist of an angry god
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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor, Pareidolia, Pretty pictures
MORE ABOUT: cloud, fist, pileus, weather

Comments (34)

Links to this Post

  1. Faces on the brain | CosmoQuest Blog | July 6, 2012
  1. Gonçalo Aguiar

    In before socialist jokes.

  2. Richie

    Now, now, no need for an ALTO-cation. The situation can’t be that CIRRUS. You shouldn’t PRECIPITATE anything that could CUMULO-tively snowball out of control.

  3. Daniel J. Andrews
  4. CountFloyd
  5. Don´t Panic

    At least it didn´t give us the finger.

    Off topic:
    Look! Steel gets weak when heated.
    Yesterday there was a fire 100 meters up in a dutch tv/communication tower. It was originally 396 meters high…
    See the news video:

  6. Digital Atheist

    Pun: the lowest form of humor. Perpetrators must be summarily banished from polite society.

    Besides, your judgment was cloudy. 😉

  7. Okay, puns are all well and good, but this is a matter that demands cirrus attention…

  8. Patrick

    All I can think of is:

    Old Man yells at cloud

  9. The phrase “…and punched the face of God” came immediately to mind.

  10. Jest

    Man tried to fist-bump God, but He was nowhere to be found…..

  11. @ Don’t Panic: No, no. That video clearly shows evidence of a controlled demolition, no doubt orchestrated by former members of the Bush administration.

  12. Chip

    What’s also cool if to take a good pair of binoculars and focus on the upper edges of a cloud like that. This will reveal how fast the rolling top is moving and changing in front of the blue sky.

  13. Bobby

    Fight the power! Viva la condensacion!

    This reminds me of the Carina Nebula, flipping us the bird –

  14. Legion

    Stupid sissy sky…

  15. Keith Bowden

    Hmmm, the Cloud Lantern Corps is somehow not very effective. :)

  16. chris evans

    Power to the clouds

  17. mike burkhart

    In an episode of Star Trek it is reviled that the Greek Gods where aliens with powers Apollo stops the Enterprise with a force feild that looks like a hand ,so this is a force feild from those same aliens trying to stop Astronmers from finding there planet failing this they will create an delusion that all Astronomers are at the O.K. Corall faceing the Errps in the famous gun fight (I just got Wyat Errp and Tomestone on DVD so I’m ready)

  18. worlebird

    Looks like the “hand of God” from the online comic “Sinfest”:

  19. Digital Atheist


    Cloud Lantern Corps? Grrrrrrr… the pun points are accumulating and sooner or later the rains are gonna wash you all away. Did you punsters come from Cirrus?

  20. mike burkhart

    Off Topic an historical fact. That Star Trek episode about the gunfight at the O.K. croall was right in saying Billy Claborne survived but Ike Clanton survived to. ………

  21. Freerefill

    I just watched a bunch of Mythbusters episodes, and now I can’t read Phil’s posts anymore without them being narrated by Adam Savage.

  22. LadyFriar

    It makes me think of that “30 Rock” episode where Buzz Aldrin yells at the moon….

  23. Thomas Siefert

    Looks to me like someone knocking back a beer…

  24. Blake P

    I had a friend who said he would fly up and start punching clouds if Atlantis didn’t launch last Friday. Apparently they punch back…

  25. Stratus quo? Love that!

    This would be a beautiful weather pattern over Wisconsin, right about now.

  26. Hi Phil,

    This is my reply to your post — my shot of a cloud from Beijing, China.



  27. Richard F

    Well, it looks like you guys at least have Summer over there! Over here in Europe fish have started to migrate from sea to air. Haven’t seen that much rain since .. well .. forever I guess.

  28. JJS

    I expect this picture to appear with claims that it is an angry god ready to pound the whole world because the NY legislature legalized gay marriage.

  29. Not a SINGLE Chuck Norris joke!? 😉

  30. LT

    got news for u richard, the US hasnt seen much rain in about 2 weeks either, we’re in the midst of a severe drought across about 40 states.

  31. This is further evidence that god is a peckerwood (white supremacist).

  32. A. Marina Fournier

    Harold, I didn’t hear that line, but the sermon “Sinners in the hand of an angry God”.

    Jest and Bobby–good going.

    Cong–good cloud, but it reminds me of the Noh Monster/Spirit in Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

    These days, I think of that fist as Congress Faces the Wrath of the Citizens/Electorate, but that has no catchy line. Congress at the Fist of an Angry Populace?


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