Look at these weird clouds in the sky! But how do those large circular or elliptical gaps form in cumulus? And have you ever seen something like this before? I haven’t yet.
Fantastic sight! https://t.co/jq42V05F2K— Erin Thomas (@ErinThomasWx) January 29, 2021
But because of their rarity and unusual appearance, punch hole clouds have been mistaken for or attributed to unidentified flying objects.
And that’s exactly what happened yesterday, January 29, 2021, when several saucer-shaped formations dotted the skies over Alabama and Georgia, giving residents a reason to look up.
More views of the fallstreak holes over Alabama and Georgia this morning pic.twitter.com/dxwQ1MAQat— James Spann (@spann) January 29, 2021
How does a fallstreak hole form?
Hole punch clouds form when “supercooled water droplets” suddenly freeze within mid- to high-level cumulus clouds. When these ice crystals fall, a giant hole is left behind.
Airplanes also play a part in fallstreak formations. Passing planes create airflow, which can trigger water droplets to fall below freezing yet remain in liquid form.
A fallstreak hole, AKA “hole punch cloud,” is an elliptical gap that can appear in altocumulus or cirrocumulus clouds when the supercooled water droplets abruptly freeze. These ice crystals then fall and leave a hole behind. (1/2) #gawx #cloudscience pic.twitter.com/iPeMBBcAEJ— NWS Atlanta (@NWSAtlanta) January 29, 2021
However, this can only be achieved at high altitudes and with droplets that have little dust, pollution and other impurities.
As the droplets turn to ice crystals, “they quickly grow [and] begin to fall, leaving a hole behind, which will start to expand outward as surrounding droplets start to freeze as well, similar to a domino effect,” experts say.
And what about these clouds being simply chemtrails or signs they have started spraying the skies again?
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