Most group members said they had never seen such an incredible phenomenon before – but there was a reason the rare waves had formed in the clouds. Rare Wave-Like Clouds Over Virginia Mountain Look Like Van Gogh’s Famous ‘Starry Night’ The phenomenon’s known as Kelvin-Helmholtz waves, wherein specific atmospheric conditions create clouds that appear in wave-like patterns in the sky. That is, until now. on. They are some of the highest and rarest clouds on Earth, but these iridescent specimens are both beauty and beast. WTHR Meteorologist Sean Ash says "Tsunami clouds" may be a nickname for the clouds but they are actually called the Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud and are pretty rare. A stunning rare cloud formation, also known as the ‘morning glory’ cloud, has been captured on film by an airline passenger traveling across Australia. The wave doesn’t touch a cloud. "The base of these clouds is often above 16,500 feet (5,029 meters), as this is where the difference in wind speed in the atmosphere tends to be greatest," adds weather forecaster and former BBC Weatherman, Liam Dutton. But what about waves in the sky? ... Quite often, these clouds will form with cirrus, altocumulus, stratocumulus, and stratus clouds. Here’s what caused those rare wave clouds over Denver on Sunday night Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds were spotted over parts of the Denver metro area on Sunday night, an extremely rare … This occurs as the convection forces a wave or lenticular wave cloud into the more stable air above. 3 November 2020. It's the resistance of the cool air to this motion that causes the ripples. These turbulent atmospheric waves are a sign that the air is extremely unstable. That rule of thumb became all-too relevant recently when an unbelievably rare cloud formation known as Kelvin-Helmholtz instability waves appeared in the sky over Smith Mountain Lake. Ridges of cloud form where water vapour cools and condenses, while troughs of space form where it warms and re-evaporates. As the crystals fall back down, they change from ice to water vapour. When gentle ripples begin to form across the entire sky, it's a good bet that the storm or its remnants will arrive in just a few hours. Rare ‘Wave-Shaped’ Clouds Hovering Over Singapore Skyline Caught On Camera. Stock Footage of Asperitas Wave Clouds are Rare Indeed. One of the rarest and most fleeting formations, this cartoon-like breaking wave is the Holy Grail for many cloud-spotters. Rare clouds require the right conditions in order to occur. Worthington, R. M. "Lenticular wave cloud above the convective boundary layer of the Rocky Mountains," Weather 57(2002):87–90. When attached to the underside of low, gloomy clouds like nimbostratus, they give the impression of the cloud being streaked and smudged towards the ground. As an air mass travels through the wave, it undergoes repeated uplift and descent. A stable air mass will continue to rise and dip for a little while as it travels away from the mountain, setting up an invisible "standing wave". One of the most convincing explanations relies on "negative buoyancy". 1. Lenticular clouds form when the airflow streaming over the mountain is both stable and humid. As a type of polar stratospheric cloud, they play a central role in the chemical destruction of the ozone layer. Wave clouds got their name because they look like waves. Once these first tiny crystals are introduced, neighbouring droplets rush to join them, whereupon they quickly grow and start to fall. Given enough instability, moisture, and lift, the hefty cloud becomes electrified. The resulting instability causes the breaking wave formation, both in the ocean and the air. As the humid air bubbles up into cooler parts of the atmosphere, the moisture condenses, transforming fluffy cotton-wool clouds into a massive, lumbering rain cloud. Now that's a flying saucer! Our language of clouds dates back to 1802, when amateur scientist and earnest sky watcher Luke Howard delivered a lecture tntitled "On the Modifications of Clouds". A woman spotted a rare cloud formation over Smith Moutain in Virginia and shared the perplexing photo with a Facebook group. It is in these regions of highest vertical velocity that sailplanes can reach record-breaking altitudes.[1]. The atmospheric internal waves that form wave clouds are created as stable air flows over a raised land feature such as a mountain range, and can form either directly above or in the lee of the feature. It is a mid-to-high level cloud . As a front draws nearer, sturdier clouds gather and the weather changes. These begin as dense, billowing white towers, formed when warm, moist air is carried swiftly upwards by powerful convection currents. These clouds rarely form on windy and unstable days, but when conditions are just right, the natural phenomenon, known as Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves, occurs. For thousands of years, mankind has gazed skyward with a mixture of awe and wonder at the beauty and variety of clouds such as these 5 Rare Mind-blowing Cloud Types. Rare Wave-Like Clouds Crest Over Pa. Turnpike November 26, 2019 at 1:22 pm Filed Under: Clouds , Local TV , Pennsylvania Turnpike , Philadelphia , Ray Petelin , turnpike Their destructive might is second only to hurricanes. ... the clouds will whip up into wave-like shapes. The clouds are known as Kelvin-Helmholtz instability waves and are named after the scientists who studied the physics behind them. These super rare wave-shaped clouds were photographed yesterday in Erie. The Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud is named after the scientist who studied them. 4. the water droplets are racing through the cloud, View image of A nacreous cloud at sunset (Credit: Pekka Parviainen/SPL), View image of Asperitas clouds (Credit: Laurent Laveder/SPL), View image of Kelvin-Helmholtz waves (Credit: Brad Lundgren), View image of A supercell thunderstorm over Nebraska (Credit: Roger Hill/SPL), View image of Cirrocumulus clouds forming a mackerel sky (Credit: Pekka Parviainen/SPL), View image of Mammatus clouds over Nebraska (Credit: Mike Hollingshead/SPL), View image of Clouds with virga, over the desert in Utah (Credit: Frank Zullo/SPL), associated with many different kinds of cloud, View image of A fallstreak hole over California (Credit: Kimberly Kradel/Alamy), surrounding droplets spontaneously freeze. A Singapore resident captured a rare cloud formation hovering over the Singapore skyline near her home. Their name derives from the Latin mamma, which means "udder" or "breast", and they can extend over many hundreds of miles of cloud. Like lenticular clouds, they have been mistaken for UFOs, but they are arguably at their most dramatic at sunset, when they appear like fiery wounds to the sky. January 2008. All tornadoes are associated with supercells, although not all supercells produce tornadoes. Nacreous clouds accelerate the chemical reactions that convert benign chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into ozone-destroying chlorine. The ice crystals scatter and diffract light, making the clouds glow with iridescent colours against the dark pre-dawn or post-dusk skies. Also called mother of pearl clouds or sun dogs, these rare clouds are rarely seen, but once you do, you most definitely won’t forget them. Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds look like breaking waves in the ocean. After wind blows up and over a barrier, like a mountain, the air continues flowing through the atmosphere in a wavelike pattern. It's a bit like a car's suspension bouncing after hitting a speed bump. Photo Credit: Jamie Morath Heynes KDKA meteorologist Ray Petelin weighed in on what caused the clouds to form. Rare wave cloud spotted from Virgin Australia jet ONE of the world’s most spectacular clouds made a dramatic entrance for passengers on an … One of the rarest and most fleeting formations, this cartoon-like breaking wave is the Holy Grail for many cloud-spotters. No particular order in how ‘rare’ they are though. [1], It is possible that simple convection from mountain summits can also form wave clouds. Nacreous clouds, sometimes called mother-of-pearl clouds, are rare but once seen are never forgotten. Without these seed particles, the droplets must be cooled below -40°C before they will freeze. This is a list of what I believe to be the top 10 rarest cloud formations. Essentially, mammatus are upside-down clouds formed from sinking pockets of cold, moist air. And a brief description of each. In fact the water droplets are racing through the cloud, carried by the wind. On rare occasions, they may also occur with cumulus clouds. As physicists William Kelvin and Hermann von Helmholtz discovered, the difference in the speeds and densities of these fluids creates a shearing force where they meet, producing undulations in the boundary between the two. As it flows upwards and cools, the moisture in the air condenses to form clouds at the crests of the standing wave. These clouds rarely form on windy and unstable days, but when conditions are just right, the natural phenomenon, known as Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves, occurs. These rare … A rare formation of clouds wowed onlookers at Virginia's Smith Mountain Lake on Tuesday.. As the rain or snow evaporates away, it cools the surrounding air while increasing its humidity, until finally conditions are ripe for rain to pour. Rare wave-shaped clouds spotted in Virginia A photo of some wave-shaped clouds is making the rounds on social media and it may have you wondering if it's legit. Advertisement Clouds that look more like breaking ocean waves created a dramatic scene in the western Virginia sky on Tuesday evening. They are relatively easy to study, because they are quite consistent. The prettiest jellyfish skies occur mostly with high clouds that tend to form individual cloudlets, like altocumulus and cirrocumulus. LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- You’re used to waves on Lake Erie. As an air mass travels through the wave, it undergoes repeated uplift and descent. The upper layers of air are moving at higher speeds and will often scoop the top of the cloud layer into these wave-like rolling structures. The ripples form when humid air at the far-flung edges of the storm system pushes past clear, cool air high in the sky. (Photo Credit: Ken Jones) KDKA meteorologist Ray Petelin says these are Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, “a very rare cloud pattern that is caused by velocity shear.” Some, like lenticulars and wave clouds, tend to only be seen in the lee of mountain ranges. These spooky forms appear downwind of mountains. Like giant breakers in the ocean surf, magnificent cloud waves in the sky crested and crashed above Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake on Tuesday evening. Singapore residents posted a photo of the massive clouds to Twitter on Monday morning. When the cloud reaches the top of the troposphere – the bottom layer of Earth's atmosphere, which contains all the weather – a distinctive anvil-shaped thunderhead forms. This became known as Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability (KHI). Rare wave clouds rolled through the sky over Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia on Tuesday: ‘It was so amazing’ ... Kelvin-Helmholtz wave clouds don’t last long. They typically form when something forces a mass of air upward. They are wave clouds and their undulating sheet-like forms reveal the winds and waves of the stratosphere. During the coldest winters they can last well into the spring. What sets them apart from regular violent storms is a persistent rotating updraft called a mesocyclone, which allows the storm to sustain itself over many hours. These rare clouds were spotted over southern Michigan Wednesday evening. Understanding this can improve climate models. ... Quite often, these clouds will form with cirrus, altocumulus, stratocumulus, and stratus clouds. It's just the points where they condense and evaporate that are fixed, creating a well-defined cloud that hangs motionless in the sky. Members of the Society had been sending in photographs of "the cloud with no name": striking skyscapes that looked like a choppy sea viewed from below. 3160–3185, "Cloud Crystals - Columns & Plates - Atmospheric Optics", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wave_cloud&oldid=994008655, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 17:52. Named for the French "nacré", meaning "mother of pearl", nacreous clouds form close to the poles in the extreme cold of winter. Amy Christie Hunter spotted the wave-shaped clouds on … During the coldest winters they can last well into the spring, trashing the ozone layer all the while. Baker, B. SkyTrak 13 Meteorologist Sean Ash says they're a "somewhat rare type of wave clouds." These rare clouds, sometimes called mother-of-pearl clouds, are 15 – 25km (9 -16 miles) high in the stratosphere and well above tropospheric clouds. A mountain range can form a series of long wave clouds, but if the speed bump is more isolated, like a single mountain, the result can be oval-shaped clouds that look like UFOs. They look like a sky full of floating jellyfish, their dangling tendrils being swept away by the wind. In a storm system, virga frequently precede heavy rains when the air below the cloud isn't yet humid enough to support full precipitation. Nacreous Clouds. 1. Under certain conditions, long strings of lenticular clouds can form, creating a formation known as a wave cloud. That's because cirrus clouds – thin, wispy, collections of ice crystals – are harbingers of change. Rare Wave-Like Clouds Spotted In Erie – CBS Pittsburgh Share or comment on this article: Rare cloud phenomena called Kelvin-Helmholtz waves spotted above Virginia mountain [1] Often, ice crystals can be found downwind of the waves. If the speed difference is just right, the tops of the denser ripples can roll up, surge forwards, and tip over in a series of vortices, just like a breaking ocean wave. Fallstreak holes can grow as large as 50km in just one hour. The rare wave-shaped clouds, known as Kelvin-Helmholtz instability waves, were spotted and photographed by Amy Christie Hunter, who later shared the … Part I: Wave Clouds. The photo shared on social media captured clouds that look like ocean waves in the sky. If there is enough moisture in the atmosphere, clouds will form at the cooled crests of these waves. However, this doesn't always occur. The crashing wave pattern is caused when swift, warm air flows over a colder, denser, more sluggish layer. The rare wave-shaped clouds, known as Kelvin-Helmholtz instability waves, were spotted and photographed by Amy Christie Hunter, who later shared the picture on Facebook. In the descending part of the wave, those clouds will evaporate due to adiabaticheating, leading to the characteristic clouded and clear ban… If there is enough moisture in the atmosphere, clouds will form at the cooled crests of these waves. By. ©Cherie Ude, shown with permission. In a storm system, virga frequently precede heavy rains. Nacreous Clouds. Explore similar videos at Adobe Stock When moving air encounters an obstacle like a mountain, it is forced to rise up and over it. Rare disc-shaped clouds caught on camera by motorist Extraordinary lens shapes are exceptionally rare lenticular clouds and are also known as wave clouds The cloud's billowing wave pattern is often a sign of potential turbulence for aircraft. This became known as Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability (KHI). ... Also referred to as billow clouds, wind row clouds, or wave clouds, variations of the undulatus can be elements that have merged or single elements that have stretched through the sky. These rare clouds, sometimes called mother-of-pearl clouds, are 15 – 25km (9 -16 miles) high in the stratosphere and well above tropospheric clouds. In 2008, Gavin Pretor-Pinney of the Cloud Appreciation Society proposed a new type of cloud. Supercells can produce treacherous winds, tennis-ball-sized hailstones and flash floods. A., Lawson, R. P. (2006) In Situ Observations of the Microphysical Properties of Wave, Cirrus, and Anvil Clouds. They all hinge on sharp differences in temperature and humidity between the cloud and the underlying air, and pronounced wind shear at the boundary. A woman in Virginia snapped a picture of a rare cloud formation in the sky near Roanoke. … facebook; twitter ... “Wave clouds form in a stable atmosphere where the cloud itself isn’t able to develop into a vertical state because it … Typical thunderstorms develop from cumulonimbus clouds. 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