Thunderstorm roll cloud forms in the sky of Nizhny Novgorod on Christmas Eve

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A rare thunderstorm roll cloud formed in the sky of Nizhny Novgorod on December 24, 2015.

Yes, a horizontal cloud rotating in the morning sky over the Volga.

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Extremely rare roll cloud forms in the sky of Nizhny Novgorod on Christmas Eve.

What is exactly a roll cloud?

A “roll cloud” is a type of arcus cloud – formations typically associated with thunderstorms. The rolling motion is the result of winds changing speed and/or direction at the inversion along which the weather disturbance is traveling. The ‘shear’ across the inversion sets up a rolling motion much like that of a rolling pin used in a bakery.

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This type of arcus cloud only forms under perfect weather conditions.

And what are the chances you’ll get to see one in person?

Whether or not you’ll see one depends on a “perfect storm” of conditions, which is hard to predict.  Roll clouds tend to appear during well-defined inversions with enough accompanying moisture to form a cloud. That’s most likely to happen in the early morning.

Roll clouds can also occur on the edges of thunderstorms. But when there’s too much moisture a roll cloud may be hard to see because it’s hidden among other clouds.

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An awesome and rare sky phenomenon.

Considering all of the above factors, the odds of spotting a roll cloud in your own backyard are pretty slim. But it never hurts to keep your eye on the sky.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Ooooo Nice Scientific explanation. Total horse manure though. Maybe those oh so smart boys can tell us why this has never been reported in the last 60+ years that I am aware of. Those cloud formations are not normal, and trying to make it appear normal with BS scientific explanations is proof positive they are spinning Unnatural man made formations as normal, while trying to hide what is really causing those occurrences.

    Think HAARP, (which is now passe’) and the new developments in Geoengineering coupled with Electromagnetic pulse modulated Frequencies. Those boys have no idea as to how our world will react to man’s experimentation with forces he barely understands.

    It’s as if humanity acting like a four year old was given a chemistry set to play with…. Ooo see pretty bubbles, pretty colors toooo….. Scientist playing with forces they barely understand may yet be our undoing as a race of Bi-Pedal ignoramuses.

  2. They are ships. Light is bending around them. However, the clouds define their shape. Look at all of them from various places and times, they are all the same. They are ships.

  3. They are ships. Light is bending around them. However, the clouds define their shape. Look at all of them from various places and times, they are all the same. They are ships.
    They even have a tail of travel behind them. IF THEY WHERE particles, they would ALL be different shapes, never the constant oval

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