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S'COOL: New Findings about Clouds

A New Phenomenon Hole-Punch 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.

A January 2004 event in the Chicago area is much less clear in origin.

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Page Curator: Jay Madigan
NASA Official : Lin Chambers
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