Not a "UFO" just a Punch Hole Cloud in the sky - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

A rare meteorological phenomenon

Not a "UFO" just a Punch Hole Cloud in the sky

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Hole punch clouds as seen from the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Phenix City. Hole punch clouds as seen from the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Phenix City.
There are many names for this meteorological phenomenon but best known for a “hole punch cloud.”They can be seen anywhere in the world. Not very common, however when they do appear they look spectacular and capture everyone’s attention.

Hole punch clouds were lifting north to northeast around 9:00 a.m. local time from east central Alabama across portions of Lee, Russell, Muscogee, and Harris counties before it dissipated or became a complete alto-cumulus cloud deck (filled-in the two distinct holes side by side). Meteorologist David Reese was first to tell you about it around 10am on Social Media.

Hole punch clouds are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing but the water droplets has not frozen yet or it’s supercooled. Eventually, the water droplets begin to form ice crystals as you can see me pointing at the streaks in the center of the hole in the sky.

The ice crystals set off a chain reaction or domino effect and the water droplets around the crystals falls towards the earth and they evaporate leaving these large, circular holes punched out of these mid-layer alto cumulus clouds.

When your underneath this hole or rapidly sinking air associated with this meteorological phenomenon you can feel the cool breeze from the ice crystals falling and evaporating. Verga is the center of the hole or precipitation evaporating before it hits the ground.







Bob Jeswald

Bob worked as a meteorologist in Las Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona before deciding to head back to the fountain city to raise his family. More>>

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