Apocalyptic-looking clouds named after drooping breasts move in over UK city

An apocalyptic-looking collection of clouds that are named after drooping breasts have been spotted over a UK city.

The peculiar sight in the skies over Preston left members of the public open-mouthed as they wondered what exactly was occurring. Stunning pictures show the clouds, which look as though they are signalling the end of days.

The clouds thankfully did not spark an end-of-world moment for the people of Preston, but rather a moment of hilarity as the origin of their name emerged, LancashireLive reported.

READ MORE: Met Office says White Christmas on cards as 'hazardous snow and ice' become more likely

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The "mammatus" clouds were seen hanging over the city on Sunday (December 10) afternoon.

Their name is derived from the Latin word "mamma", meaning udder or breast. Air turbulence within the cloud causes plumes of colder air to emerge from the bottom of the weather base, meaning pouches of air hang low and create a drooping effect.

The Met Office says: "Mammatus clouds are some of the most unusual and distinctive cloud formations with a series of bulges or pouches emerging from the base of a cloud.

"The shape of mammatus formations can vary widely; from the classic protruding shape, to a more elongated tube hanging from the cloud above."

It marks a change of pace from the wilder side of the weather, with Brits bracing themselves for what could be a White Christmas. The Met Office has warned of snow and ice hazards all the way through to the new year.

The forecast for December 25 to January 8 reads: "More likely to be unsettled compared to the preceding settled spell with bands of rain crossing the UK with brighter conditions and showers in between.

"The wettest and windiest conditions are most likely in the west and northwest. The chance of a colder spell of weather, with hazards such as snow and ice, does increase later in December and into the New Year period.

"However, on balance conditions are more likely to remain generally mild and wet."

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