Mammatus (also known as mamma or mammatocumulus, meaning "breast-cloud") is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. The name "mammatus" is derived from the Latin mamma, or breast, due to some persons believing that the clouds bear a significant resemblance to human female breasts.
Mammatus are most often associated with the anvil cloud that extends from a cumulonimbus, but may also be found under altocumulus, altostratus, stratocumulus, and cirrus clouds, as well as contrails and volcanic ash clouds. In the United States, sky gazers may be most familiar with the very distinct and more common cumulonimbus mammatus. When occurring in cumulonimbus, mammatus are often indicative of a particularly strong storm. These tend to form more often during warm months and over the midwest and eastern portions of the country, and more infrequently over the west and southwest. Due to the intensely sheared