What are hole punch clouds?

Strange rings in the sky?!

Have you ever seen these before? These strange circles in the sky? What are they? Are they UFOs? Nope! These are clouds! They are called hole punch clouds or punch hole clouds.

Weatherthings.com gave this to say about hole punch clouds-

"Rather than extending as a line, Hole Punch clouds appear as a circular or oval hole in a deck or thin layer of supercooled water clouds. They are not uncommon where jet flight paths intersect altocumulus or cirrocumulus layers. What is uncommon is when they form in a perfect circle that persists for a length of time to be widely observed."

Until I saw the video which I have embedded above, I had never heard of hole punch clouds. They are apparently also called fall streak clouds. I am often amazed by how many names we give the same thing in English, aren't you?

I've never seen one in real life, but I would love to. Apparently they have been seen across the globe from the US to Russia. If you've seen one of these clouds, I'd love if you commented in the comments section!

There is some more great info on these clouds with spectacular images if you check out this page on MeteorologyNews.com - http://www.meteorologynews.com/2009/10/12/hole-punch-cloud-not-ufo-spotted-over-moscow/

This article contains a neat tidbit at the end, it is suspected that the recent sighting could have been triggered by experiments performed to test cloud seeding....!

Some cool pictures of hole punch clouds

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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