Sunday, 18 August 2013

Electricity makes clouds dance

A video of an unusual cloud formation, footage which some are regarding as an Internet hoax, has been proved authentic. The shows a cloud appearing to “dance” in the sky, is now being classified as a cumulonimbus, a cloud associated with thunder storms.

Although rare, the phenomenon isn't completely unheard of, scientists say. An article in Discover magazine said the rapid movement was caused by electrical currents inside the cloud.

Meteorologist Walter Lyons, who is credited with identifying the phenomenon, said long and needled ice crystals aligning with electric forces created the light-bending, weather show.

“What you are seeing is sunlight reflecting off ice crystal faces that are constantly being oriented by the developing electric field just above the [cumulonimbus] top,” Lyons said. “Then there is a discharge in the cloud, and the field collapses momentarily, and the crystals begin to realign again.”
The electric force cloud footage is just one of many atmospheric anomalies to hit the web in recent weeks.

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