The Fallstreak, as viewed from Australia

November 4, 2014 12:02 PM

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On Monday, our friends down under were treated to a magnificent example of what’s known as a fallstreak cloud, sometimes referred to as a hole punch cloud. It earned this latter name because it looks like something literally punched a hole in the sky, leaving a large, round void surrounded by a milky white layer of clouds.

They form when the water temperature in the cloud is below freezing, but the water has not yet frozen due to a lack of ice nucleation particles. When the water does start to freeze, it falls down to the surface … so you’re left with this cloud surrounding it, this clear area.

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