Giant tsunami-shaped clouds spotted in AlabamaDecember 21st, 2011 - 9:47 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt
Birmingham, Ala., Dec 21 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Residents in Birmingham, Alabama woke up to a rare phenomenal on the sky on Friday (the 16th of December 2011). Several calls were sent to the meteorological department for explanation to what might be the cause of the giant tsunami-shaped clouds that they saw in the sky on that fateful day.
Experts later explained that the phenomenon is called “Kelvin-Helmholtz waves.” According to the officials it can also occur in the ocean when a fast moving layer of fluid comes in contact with thicker layer of fluid which is moving at a slower speed. In the sky, the phenomenon is caused by layers of air.
In an interview with LiveScience, a meteorologist at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York, Albany, Chris Walcek, explained that, “In the pictures [of the Birmingham sky] there is probably a cold layer of air near the ground where the wind speed is probably low. That is why there is a cloud or fog in that layer. Over this cloudy, cold, slow-moving layer is probably a warmer and faster-moving layer of air.”
That is an explanation many Alabamans will love to hear because the incident terrified many residents. It is not clear when the phenomenon last took place.
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Tags: ala, alabama birmingham, atmospheric sciences research, birmingham alabama, chris walcek, clouds, fateful day, fog, giant tsunami, meteorological department, meteorologist, phenomenon, sciences research center, sky, state university of new york, tsunami, waves, wind speed