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In pictures: Amazing black cloud casts Elgin in darkness before torrential downpour

The stormy skies were compared to the dementors from Harry Potter.

It's the second warning for thunderstorms this week; a dark cloud over Elgin before the rain set in yesterday. Image Jason Hedges/DC Thomson.
It's the second warning for thunderstorms this week; a dark cloud over Elgin before the rain set in yesterday. Image Jason Hedges/DC Thomson.

People across Moray were astonished when a big dark cloud appeared today, and then unleashed a huge downpour upon Elgin.

Press and Journal photographer Jason Hedges captured the moment the heavens opened on camera.

An amazing cloud forms over Elgin and drifts Eastwards bringing an intense downpour of rain.
An amazing cloud forms over Elgin and drifts eastwards bringing an intense downpour of rain, near Lhanbryde. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson.

One moment it was a pleasant late spring day – the next Mother Nature did her best.

The cloud formed over Elgin before it drifted eastwards bringing a huge downpour.

An amazing cloud forms over Elgin and drifts Eastwards bringing an intense downpour of rain.
The cloud format at Ladyhill Elgin. Image Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson.
One moment it was a fine day in Elgin before a massive black cloud formed causing a massive downpour.
When the downpour came, the rain was dancing on the roads. Photographer Jason Hedges captured the moment at Ladyhill in Elgin. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson.

Elgin started out on the Bank Holiday with sunshine between 7am and 10am, when the dark cloud appeared.

The Met Office said the temperature at the time of the downfall was 15C, and the sun with showers had returned by about 1pm, with humidity rising to 83% by 3pm.

An amazing cloud forms over Elgin and drifts Eastwards bringing an intense downpour of rain.
The cloud was huge and dark. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson.

On social media, Elgin folks reacted to the cloud and the downpour.

One said it was like “the dementors of Harry Potter have arrived” while others wanted to get home in time to take in their washing on the drying line.

Elgin clouds led to a huge downpour.
The clouds brought a huge dark patch over Elgin. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson.

Dark clouds are called altostratus and appear as grey or bluish-grey sheets of cloud that partially or cover the sky at mid-levels.

An amazing cloud forms over Elgin and drifts Eastwards bringing an intense downpour of rain. Picture is in Elgin
Pouring rain in Elgin. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson.
An amazing cloud forms over Elgin and drifts Eastwards bringing an intense downpour of rain.
People were caught out in the rain. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson.
An amazing cloud forms over Elgin and drifts Eastwards bringing an intense downpour of rain.
People used jackets as makeshift umbrellas. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson.

Even though they cover the sky, you can typically still see the sun as a dimly lit disk behind them – as proved in Elgin earlier.

But not enough sun to cast shadows on the ground.

Altostratus clouds tend to form ahead of a warm or occluded front.

But they can also occur together with cumulus at a cold front.

A thunderstorm warning was issued for north and north-east as residents braced for 11 hours of rain.

Residents in the north and north-east were warned of “slow-moving rain and thunderstorms in the area.”