Sign of the clouds – it’s cold up here

A woman in Alabama took photos of a strange cloud formation that she said formed into a cross as she was watching. She passed the photos on to the local news.

Photo: Judy Smith

Photo: Judy Smith

I contacted Mick West of ContrailScience.com who said they are “canal clouds”.

A plane the flies through the clouds has caused this channel-like anomaly. In this case, the trails crossed leaving this interesting pattern. The process is similar to a failstreak cloud also known as a hole-punch cloud where ice crystals form likely from a plane passing through. The process can also trigger a band of snow. It’s pretty interesting but all perfectly nature, obeying the laws of physics, and has no religious connections. It’s not a “holy cloud” or a sign. It’s just atmospheric.

When a plane passes through the cloud layer at a shallow angle, it can cause a line to be cut from the cloud, known as a canal cloud or a distrail (short for dissipation trail). Spotted over Broxted, Essex, UK. © Michael Holt.

When a plane passes through the cloud layer at a shallow angle, it can cause a line to be cut from the cloud, known as a canal cloud or a distrail (short for dissipation trail). Spotted over Broxted, Essex, UK. © Michael Holt.

Addition: A similar failstreak hole – this one come with a RAINBOW!

Reported from Victoria, Australia. http://imgur.com/1lN62mo

Reported from Victoria, Australia. http://imgur.com/1lN62mo

  6 comments for “Sign of the clouds – it’s cold up here

  1. November 5, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    To be fair, though, I don’t see anything in that news story about the woman commenting about religion – according to the link, she just said she liked seeing beauty in nature. Seems to me that she just saw something interesting and passed it along.

  2. November 5, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    The sign idea was on another site, one that labels everything an apocalypse.

  3. Blargh
    November 5, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    Obviously, the planes were experiencing crosswinds.

    … I’ll see myself out.

  4. Asha
    November 6, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    So, that’s not a “X” marking the spot of hidden pirate treasure? I’m so disappointed…😢
    On a serious note, these three examples of failstreak or hole punch cloud formations are so super cool, and so are the names! If I weren’t such a dismal musician, and if I were considering putting together a band, Failstreak and Hole Punch would be on my list of potential names.

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy
    November 7, 2015 at 2:51 AM

    When all you have is an End Time Prophecy Hammer…

  6. Tim
    December 2, 2015 at 2:24 AM

    Actually, it’s “fallstreak” not “failstreak”. Still a good name for a band, though.

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