Mystery and rare Fallstreak hole cloud phenomenon over Stockton – May 9 2014

A fallstreak hole, also known as a hole punch cloud, punch hole cloud, skypunch, canal cloud or cloud hole, is a large circular or elliptical gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds. One was just spot in the sky over Stockton, California on May 9, 2014.

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An amazing hole punch cloud was observed over Stockton on May 9 2014 by many residents. Photo: D.J. Bennett/10News ABC

A weird weather phenomenon was observed by many in the sky over Stockton, California on May 9, 2014.

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Strange cloud phenomenon: This alien like cloud was spotted in the sky over Stockton in California. Photo: D.J. Bennett/ News10 ABC

After receiving bunch of pictures News10 ABC asked around to decrease the fear of Stockton residents. 

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Punch cloud over Stockton may 9 2014. Photo: Bryan Jose Manaloto/ News10 ABC

Now, NOAA has an idea of what it could have been. This weird cloud phenomenon was most probably created by ice crystals falling through a hole punch cloud, refracting light.

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According to NOAA, This strange cloud formation in the sky of Stockton, Ca is ice crystals falling through a hole punch cloud, refracting light. Photo: Alicia Hernandez/ News10 ABC

 How punch hole cloud form?

According to Wikipedia, a fallstreak hole is a rare, large circular or elliptical gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds. Such holes are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing but the water has not frozen yet due to the lack of ice nucleation particles. When ice crystals do form it will set off a domino effect causing the water droplets around the crystals to evaporate: this leaves a large, often circular, hole in the cloud.

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