NPR logo Cool Video: Massive Cloud 'Waves' Roll Over Alabama


Cool Video: Massive Cloud 'Waves' Roll Over Alabama

abc3340 YouTube

Video of some pretty awesome looking clouds rolling across the sky last Friday in Birmingham, Ala., is beginning to roll up a lot of views.

They sure look like either some amazingly huge waves or a line of Loch Ness monsters marching across the horizon.

But as the local ABC33/40 Weather Blog reports, there's a logical explanation:

"Breaking waveforms of Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are the result of shearing winds up at cloud level. ... Sea waves break as their bases are slowed down upon reaching shallow water and their crests surge ahead. Cloud waves break in the same way: when their crests are pushed ahead of their troughs by the difference in air currents."

As impressive as the clouds are, we have to say we also enjoyed the comments from two people who can be heard in the video.

"That's. ... I've never seen this before!" an excited woman says, expressing exactly what we thought too.

"I have never seen this before and I am doing video," says a rather Mr. Spockish-sounding guy.



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