High in the sky above the town of Battle Mountain, Nevada an extremely rare ‘horseshoe cloud’ was spotted by Christy Grimes.
This atmospheric phenomenon is so rare that the National Weather Service actually posted the image to Twitter. Brian Boyd, senior meteorologist at the US National Weather Service in Elko Nevada, noted that the odd shape of the cloud is a result of the ‘horseshoe vortex.’
‘On days with flat puffy cumulus clouds, some weak updrafts form and drive the clouds upward. In certain cases, it can also create a horizontal vortex (perpendicular to what a tornado would be). At some lower altitude, the normal atmospheric winds catch it and blow the middle part forward, which allows the ends to trail behind,’ he explained.
Once the ‘horseshoe cloud’ has formed it only stays active for a short time so it’s quite impressive that Grimes was able to catch it on camera. As Boyd commented: ‘It’s all still spinning, but as the winds continue to blow stronger in the middle, it becomes quickly tenuous and soon dissipates. That is, the visible cloud dissipates. You have to be in the right place, right time, and looking up. The moral is: take your camera with you.’
Thankfully, Christy was able to snap the pic in time when she saw the cloud outside her home. These hilarious memes wouldn’t exist otherwise!