OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A woman in northeast Kansas spotted an unusual sight in the sky. What looked a like a large aircraft hovering above Kansas may actually have been created by one.
Overland Park resident Karen Langtry noticed some odd-looking clouds on Jan. 26 and posted photos online. Nexstar’s KSNT 27 News Storm Track Chief Meteorologist Matt Miller identified the formation.
“Fallstreak clouds, or hole punch clouds, are a rather unusual sight,” Miller said. “They are usually formed when a plane flies through that layer of cloud cover. Planes fly through clouds all the time, but in this case the clouds are thin and made up of ice crystals and when the jet exhaust—full of liquid moisture—is added to the cloud, the ice crystals grow rapidly and fall, leaving a hole in the cloud and shows that little streak of the ice crystals falling from it.”
These rare types of clouds are described by the National Weather Service as a large circular or elliptical gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds.