Strange cloud formations in Midwest baffle meteorologists

April 25th, 2021

Sometimes, we like to relax outdoors or out in nature. And we like to look up at the sky and watch the clouds go by.

Sometimes, we take it for granted and just watch the clouds without seeing it.

And then, there are days when we notice something strange in the sky. Strange clouds form that can’t be explained.

These strange clouds were spotted in Western Wisconsin and were captured on camera by a local meteorologist, Warren Sears.

“This has meteorologists, including myself, a bit baffled. Several images of what appeared to be an upside-down funnel cloud were sent into a TV station in western Wisconsin. (images courtesy: meteorologist Warren Sears) Area meteorologists aren’t quite sure what caused the image but it appears to be legitimate (i.e. no photoshop evidence as multiple views of [the] same cloud formation were received). My first thought was if the image could be faked, as we sadly get that often,” Eric Elwell wrote on his Facebook post. “There had been severe storms in the area around the time, but no damage was reported with this particular cloud/storm. What does this look like to you? I mean, it is 2020… so I guess we should expect the unexpected, right?”

What does it look like to you?

It looks like a small volcano erupting. Or it could be an upside-down cotton candy? Or a sparse tree growing on its own on a small island?

Even Warren Sears, the meteorologist who originally uploaded this photo was stumped.

“Well…this one has me stumped! I guess mother nature is doing her own thing in 2020,” Warren wrote on his Facebook post.

How do strange clouds form like this?

There are three tiers of clouds and ten broad categories, according to the shapes they form.

High-level clouds are either thin and whispy, transparent, or sheet-like and rippled. And they’re all white or whitish.

Mid-level clouds are gray and darker. And sometimes, they are thick, patchy, or fuzzy. And they almost always produce rain or snow.

Low-level clouds are the ones we see more often. Unlike the high-level and mid-level clouds though, low-level clouds do not always look similar.

“Cumulus clouds are a cloud-spotting favorite: They are big, white, and cottony and—depending on your imagination—may look like a bear, an apple, or any other familiar object. Cumulonimbus clouds are heavy and dense; they tend to build dramatically upward and are often harbingers of thunderstorms, hail, or tornadoes. Stratus clouds appear as a thin gray layer in the sky. Stratocumulus clouds are patchy, gray and white, and usually resemble a honeycomb,” Catherin Zuckerman wrote for National Geographic.

But there are still other cloud formations apart from the ones mentioned. And meteorologists are still studying their formation.

Every day, Mother Earth surprises us with beautiful formations. Some of them may look like the usual cloud formations we see daily.

And then there are days when Mother Nature keeps us guessing with the clouds she forms.

What has been your favorite cloud formation you’ve ever seen?

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Source: Strange Sounds, Facebook/Eric Elwell, National Geographic