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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
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 69°
Maryville
Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 68°
Savannah
Mostly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 69°
Cameron
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 67°
Atchison
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 69°
Clouds will continue to move into the area tonight with a slight chance for an isolated shower. Tomorrow we will see a few scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms move through the area, mainly through the morning and afternoon hours. Temperatures will warm into the upper 60s and lower 70s. Rain chances are set to continue on Sunday with temperatures back in the 60s. Rain chances will linger into next week. The rain will be on the lighter side Monday into Tuesday. Ran showers will increase with the possibility for a few thunderstorms Wednesday into Thursday. Temperatures will continue warm into next week with highs in the mid to upper 70s.
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