3 Punch Hole Clouds in the Same Spot
Considered a mystery for many years, punch hole clouds appear on rare occasions all over the world, sometimes attracting widespread attention, e.g., the famous Moscow UFO cloud of 2009. Recently meteorologists have penetrated the mystery: punch holes form when airplanes fly through thin layers of high altitude clouds. If water droplets in the cloud are supercooled (below freezing but still liquid), they can suddenly turn to snow when shocked by the passage of the plane. This mini-snowstorm occurs over a circular area much wider than the airplane itself.
Not all flights through banks of clouds will produce snow. According to Wired Magazine, only about 7.8 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with clouds at the right elevation for supercooled droplets to form. Because jet aircraft don’t generally cruise at those altitudes, they may only form hole-punch clouds when they take off or land.
The apparition of three rare cloud-holes in one small area suggests a busy airspace around Myrtle Beach. Indeed, the Myrtle Beach International Airport is just miles from where the photo was taken. Or maybe punch hole clouds are a bit of a mystery after all.
And IF you thought that punch hole clouds was just a one time occurrence, Austin, Texas captured one:
Pretty cool, eh? Have you ever seen one of these in your area of the world? Let me know.
Punch Hole Clouds …. as the green future unfolds.