Hole Punch Clouds


Earlier this year I went to a weather conference and one of the talks was on hole punch clouds.  The latest research shows they are not created by engine combustion at all.  The first requirement is the clouds have to be vertically thin.  Researchers then discovered that the clouds usually form beneath C-130 planes (shown below).  Beneath the wings of these planes temperatures were around 14 degrees warmer than the rest of the plane and surrounding environment.  This temperature difference created a dry punch of air falling from the sky evaporating the clouds beneath.            

On a side note, a big thanks to Stephen Kornblitt who took this picture and sent it to Frank Billingsley.  A lot of people said it looked photo shopped but our engineers at the station said it was authentic.  Most hole punch clouds are circular.  This one is unique because it looks like an outline of a plane or the state of Texas. 

To view past weather quiz answers click here:

Past Weather Quiz Answers


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