S'COOL: New Findings about Clouds
This photo on the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) website shows what is being called a "hole-punch" cloud
on January 12, 2004 over Mobile, AL, USA. Recently, I (S'COOL director Lin Chambers) met a Middle
School teacher from Mobile whose students spotted and photographed this cloud. If you follow the links
on the APOD site you will see a few other reports of these kinds of clouds.
These clouds have also been spotted recently in some satellite imagery, as reported by colleagues at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Scott Bachmeier in particular). A
November 2003 event appears
to be the result of an aircraft dissipation trail (distrail) - where water vapor in the exhaust of a plane initiates the
formation of ice crystals which then absorb the water droplets in the atmosphere and create the hole.
January 2004 event in the Chicago area is much less clear in origin.