PHOTOS: Anvil cloud looms over the Austin area

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A lone thunderstorm near Fredericksburg created a gigantic anvil cloud Monday evening.

KXAN viewers reached out to us with a mix of fear and excitement as the Independence Day-like cloud loomed over the Austin area.

The cloud is shaped like an anvil because it’s hitting the bottom of the stratosphere, KXAN’s Natalie Ferrari explains. The air at the top of the storm is much cooler than the stratosphere, so the air expands out instead of higher up. The National Weather Service reports the storm was reaching heights of 46,000 feet at its most intense point.

So you can rest at ease and ditch your end of the world plans for now.

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