Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) was flooded with the pictures and comments over the bizarre cloud formation over Wonthaggi, a seaside town 132 kilometers south-east of Melbourne, reports The Age. Many of viewers were concerned that it could be an alien spaceship or any other super natural phenomena occurring over the town.
Twitter buzzed with speculations
On Monday, residents of Wonthaggi saw a massive, otherworldly, rainbow-filled hole tearing the clouds. Wonthaggi residents started posting pictures of the cloud on Twitter with string of questions concerning the existence of such clouds, and what the cloud could be.
Along with a picture, one user tweeted that the world has reached its end. “Rapture’s here, folks. Some weird rainbow/ cloud action going on in Wonthaggi right now.”
However, Michael Efron, forecaster at the Bureau of Methodology’s duty was not that concerned. He told Fairfax media that the occurring is like a fallstreak cloud, which is also known as punch hole cloud. According to Efron, these clouds are formed when water temperature in the cloud is below the freezing level, but the water has not yet frozen due to insufficient ice nucleation particles.
“In this case, when the water does start to freeze, it falls down to the surface … so you’re left with this cloud surrounding it, this clear area.”
Type of cloud formation
Contrary to the locals who saturated Twitter with the questions such as if the World is ending or whether they witnessed an UFO, Efron said that high clouds at around 5 km above ground are required for fallstreak formation. The expert also said that the rainbow inside the cloud is called iridescence, which can be frequently seen in soap bubbles, butterfly wings and sea shells. Such cloud iridescence is formed with high-level cloud and with diffraction, which means that water droplets “are gathering lights.”
Efron, also, said that this could be due to an aircraft under certain conditions. The expert is sure that this is not an alien or UFO, but at the same time acknowledges that such a formation is rare to be captured in camera. Just last month, a similar cloud formation was also seen in Perth, informs Efron.