Fallstreak holes seen in clouds across RVA

Image courtesy of Debbie Baber

Richmond, Va (WRIC) – Richmonders saw some interesting clouds today. These unique cloud formations are called fallstreak holes.

They are seen as holes in a mid-level cloud deck with thin wisps under the hole. The thin cirrostratus clouds in the picture are made up of tiny supercooled water droplets. This means the water remains a liquid but the temperature is below freezing.

Image courtesy of Laura Goodman

A few of those droplets turn to ice, starting a chain reaction with other water droplets then turning to ice. The ice is heavier than the water droplets and begins to fall.

That in turn changes more of the water droplets into ice crystals. The falling ice takes the water from the cloud and produces a hole in the middle of the clouds, or a fallstreak hole.

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