Mammatus Clouds, Sankt Peter Ording, March 28, 2016

The extraordinary weather patterns in “Nordfriesland” – the flat landscape situated at the Northern Sea close to Denmark – inspired artists, writers and painters. ” Der Schimmelreiter”, a famous drama and ghost story by Theodor Storm, is set against the backdrop of the wilderness of the Northern Sea with its murderous storm floods. The amazing colours and moods of the clouds created the magic scenery which painter Emil Nolde often portrayed in his paintings.

Particularly in autumn and in spring there are spectacular moments at the Northern Sea shore. Sankt Peter Ording, a touristic village, is like the island of Sylt an outpost at the Northern Sea where you often can find great motives for photography. There is an endless shore and the tides create a constantly changing impression.

On March 28, 2016 showers moved from the West to the East. In the evening light with the last beams of sunlight the showers fell apart but mammatus clouds appeared which were illuminated by the sun.

These clouds are still a mystery for science til today. They are often seen in thunderstorms but could also appear on the underside of other types of clouds.

Mammatus Clouds are sometimes also mentioned as “bubble clouds”. What’s amazing is the detailed structure in the shower or thunder clouds, which is also visible in the picture.

I have seen mammatus clouds often after a thunderstorm or a shower passed. They mean certainly that there must be turbulences in the clouds but there is no connection between tornados and mammatus clouds.

In Sankt Peter Ording, which is a long stretched village consisting of three parts, there is a long pier. The pier leads to the shore. From the pier there are great views of the salt marshes, which are unique. Sometime they get flooded but most of the time its a place for birds and other animals.

During summer a lot of visitors come and the shore might be crowded. However there is a lot of space here to take long walks and find motives.

Unexperienced visitors should be aware of the tides which could pose some danger particularly when there is some mist and you couldn’t see the houses any longer.

The village is protected by a huge dyke since devastating storm floods posed a constant danger over centuries.  There are also two light houses.


Sankt Peter Ording can be reached via train or by car. It’s a 5-6 hour ride from Berlin or 2 hours from Hamburg. There is also a bus commuting between the different parts of the shore and the village. In the old part of the village there is a bus station directly at the sea.