The sky holds a number of surprises may it be a sunny or rainy day or even at night. There must’ve been a number of phenomena that have left us mesmerized and questioning. The good thing is almost everything that happens in the sky have a legitimate scientific explanation. Here’s a roundup of the Top 10 Amazing Weather Phenomena. You will finally know what that wave-looking cloud formation you saw at the beach yesterday is called.
10. Mammatus Clouds
A group of pouches in the sky may all look cute and amazing, but these clouds are often associated with severe thunderstorms. Also known as mammato cumulus clouds or mammary clouds, they are mostly composed of ice. Oftentimes, they may also be made up of a mix of water and ice or in some cases, entirely water. Negative buoyancy pockets are due to evaporation, leading to the formation of this cloud. Each lobe can be observed in the sky for about 10 minutes, while a group of lobes could last from 15 minutes up to a couple of hours.
Moonbows, unlike rainbows which occurs post-rain when the Sun shines at moisture droplets, appears because of the light that reflects from the moon, which refracts moisture that is in the air. It is hard for the human eye to see the colors of the moon bow, thus it appears to be only white. A moonbow’s color could be seen via pictures taken with long exposures.
8. Ball Lightning
Just like balls of fire thrown by villains in movies, this phenomenon involves a ball-shaped lightning, which was known to vary in size. It could be as small as a pea or as large as up to 8 feet in diameter. It has been known to create greater damage as it moves at a slower place than the normal lightning. Due to the infrequency of the said phenomenon, there hasn’t been any explanation for this occurrence yet.
7. Water Spout
Water spouts can be considered as a non-supercell tornado occurring in the warm waters. They are rumored to suck water up, when in fact the water collected in the main funnel cloud are actually formed by condensation of water droplets.
6. Blue Moon
A Blue moon is a phenomenon which happens only every 2 to 3 years and is explained as the second full moon in a calendar month. Events on land such as volcanic eruptions and large fires tend to carry ash and other materials such as soot in the atmosphere. When mixed with moisture, these materials refract the light of the moon, which then makes it look like the moon is colored blue. The rarity of this phenomenon has led to the use of the idiomatic expression “once in a blue moon.”
A person’s shadow standing atop a mountain of fog could lead to this phenomenon. This occurs with the sun shining at the back of the person into fog. The shadow is projected by the light through the mist, and it gives out the illusion of a large light.
4. St. Elmo’s Fire
This occurrence can often be observed on ships during thunderstorms. A coronal discharge creates luminous plasma with the use of the masts of a ship or lightning rods. With the electricity interfering with readings in ship compasses, it has been taken as bad lack by sailors.
3. Blood Rain
To date, there hasn’t been any concrete explanation about this phenomenon wherein it seems like it’s raining blood, due to the reddish color of rain. Existing theories suggest that this occurrence may be caused by micro-organisms. Other theories ranged from sunspots and dust from other materials in space such as meteorites.
2. Snow Rollers
Throwing snowballs should be a breeze if you didn’t have to form snow balls with your hands, instead just picking them up. All you need is a flat field of snow and strong winds and you got your very own snow balls. Not really. In order for snow rollers to occur, the ground should be covered with ice or snow, the wind should be blowing like there’s no tomorrow and there must also be a presence of wet snowfall. Once formed, it rolls and collects more snow.
1. Non-Aqueous Rain
Also called Raining Cats and Dogs, this rare phenomenon, wherein animals such as fish or frogs rain down from the sky. There isn’t any scientific explanation for this event, but there are a number of theories. One theory states that tornadoes may be the culprit, picking up these animals in the water and eventually dropping them.