Strange cloud phenomenon perplexes many in the Lake Charles area - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Strange cloud phenomenon perplexes many in the Lake Charles area this morning

Strange cloud phenomenon perplexes many in the Lake Charles area this morning

Source: Alyssa Sarvaunt - (KPLC Viewer) Source: Alyssa Sarvaunt - (KPLC Viewer)
Source: Jason Parish (KPLC Viewer) Source: Jason Parish (KPLC Viewer)
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - An odd cloud formation over the Lake Charles and Sulphur area earlier this morning left many KPLC viewers submitting photos and wanting to know more about what they were seeing.

This type of cloud phenomenon is called a “hole-punch” and occurs when there is some sort of disruption in a layer of clouds that appears as a hole was punched in the cloud deck and is completely harmless.

This disruption in the layer of clouds is caused by the passing of a jet aircraft that begins the process of evaporative cooling, and sends an area of water vapor in the clouds falling towards the earth, evaporating before reaching the ground.

This evaporating rain is known as virga, and can even be seen on radar from time to time.

The void left behind in the clouds as a result of the evaporation process appears as a giant hole and can leave many in awe and confusion as to what they are seeing.

It's rare in the fact that you need the exact meteorological conditions present and a cloud deck overhead at the right height as the aircraft passes to induce this process.

Thank to you to everyone who submitted photos!

7Stormteam Meteorologist Ben Terry

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