STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Rare wave-shaped clouds roll over Virginia

A rare formation of clouds wowed onlookers at Virginia's...

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 8:00 AM

A rare formation of clouds wowed onlookers at Virginia's Smith Mountain Lake on Tuesday.

The photo shared on social media captured clouds that look like ocean waves in the sky. These clouds rarely form on windy and unstable days, but when conditions are just right, the natural phenomenon, known as Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves, occurs.

The National Weather Service defines it as "vertical waves in the air associated with wind shear across statically-stable regions."

"They can appear as breaking waves and as braided patterns in radar images and cloud photos," the NWS says.

In other words, different layers of the atmosphere have differing wind speeds, creating the appearance of rolling waves. If the temperature and humidity are just right, it can produce these striking clouds.

St. Joseph
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 60°
Maryville
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 57°
Savannah
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 60°
Cameron
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 61°
Falls City
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 59°
Temperatures today were slightly above average with highs in the mid 80s. Most of today was dry and sunny, but a weak cold front will move through late this afternoon into this evening giving us the chance for a few isolated showers and storms. Conditions will stay comfortable this weekend with highs in the mid 80s on Saturday and upper 80s on Sunday. Temperatures will start off above average on Monday before a cold front moves through. That front will give us additional rain chances Monday night and some much more fall like temperatures through the rest of the week.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

Community Events