Rare ‘Ocean Wave’ Clouds Roll Over Virginia Mountains in Stunning Photo

first_img Wind formations can cause some jaw-dropping weather phenomena: A photographer in Virginia recently took a photo of rare “ocean wave” clouds with her camera and they are a gorgeous sight.On Tuesday, Amy Hunter snapped a picture of the “ocean wave” clouds over Smith Mountain Lake in western Virginia and uploaded it to Facebook. The photo, which has a backdrop of mountains, shows the strange cloud arrangement in the sky hovering above the serene landscape. These “ocean wave” clouds, also known as Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, aren’t a regular occurrence though: They typically hide behind other clouds due to their bizarre air flows, Fox 35 Orlando News reported. Stay on target “Very cool clouds rolling over the mountain tops at Smith Mountain Lake this evening. They are called Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds,” Hunter wrote in her Facebook post. “I sent the photo to our local news station and the meteorologist replied to me saying they are very rare and usually not this defined.”Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, also known as billow clouds or sheer-gravity clouds, are named after the scientists that discovered their formation process: Lord Kelvin and Hermann von Helmholtz, The Weather Channel noted.These clouds are atmospheric breaking waves that can develop in an environment with a good amount of vertical wind shear and stable air. At the top of the cloud, winds are moving faster than at the base of the cloud, which causes the top of the cloud to fall down in a curling motion after it crashes into the stable layer above it. This gives the clouds a similar shape to waves crashing onto a shoreline.More on Geek.com:Bizarre ‘Flying Objects’ Over Kansas City Leave People Suspecting Aliens Two New NASA Missions Will Study Solar WeatherESA’s BepiColombo Spacecraft Snaps 3 Epic Selfies on Mercury Tripcenter_img Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend last_img read more

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