Did you see that Hole Punch in the Clouds?

Local News
Hole Punch Arkansas Wx Watchers W LR 6-11-19_1560274297287.jpg.jpg

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – High and mid level clouds such as altocumulus are made up of very small, super-cooled water droplets.  They are cold enough to freeze, but need a surface to freeze onto. 

A fallstreak hole, or more commonly called a “hole punch cloud” is a large circular gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds when something moves through the cloud layer, such as an airplane. 

That’s what happened Tuesday morning in Central Arkansas as seen in this picture shared from Arkansas Wx Watchers.  The same “hole punch” was seen in Saline County.

The exhaust of an airplane may contain small ice crystals and those ice crystals will act as the “body” they super-cooled water droplets will freeze onto. 

When the water droplets of the clouds freeze onto the ice crystals, a visible gap in the clouds is left behind.  They can even expand over a few minutes as more and more water droplets freeze onto the ice crystals. 

But where do the ice crystals go?  They fall.  And yes, this would be snow.  However, the air below the cloud layer is dry and the falling snow quickly evaporates. 

So, sorry, we’re not going to get any snow in June.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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