Rare wave-shaped clouds roll over Virginia

A rare formation of clouds wowed onlookers at Virginia's...

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 9:00 AM

A rare formation of clouds wowed onlookers at Virginia's Smith Mountain Lake on Tuesday.

The photo shared on social media captured clouds that look like ocean waves in the sky. These clouds rarely form on windy and unstable days, but when conditions are just right, the natural phenomenon, known as Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves, occurs.

The National Weather Service defines it as "vertical waves in the air associated with wind shear across statically-stable regions."

"They can appear as breaking waves and as braided patterns in radar images and cloud photos," the NWS says.

In other words, different layers of the atmosphere have differing wind speeds, creating the appearance of rolling waves. If the temperature and humidity are just right, it can produce these striking clouds.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 449900

Reported Deaths: 33087
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens716827243
Kings671367318
Bronx525784941
Nassau462182201
Suffolk460612011
Westchester378011454
New York330703174
Richmond157301085
Rockland14823675
Orange11812498
Erie10999689
Monroe5894289
Dutchess5059153
Onondaga4220205
Albany3016134
Oneida2375123
Ulster224295
Niagara1724101
Putnam157463
Sullivan157148
Broome146569
Schenectady138048
Saratoga99817
Rensselaer89942
Columbia58137
Chautauqua5379
Madison48717
Ontario46135
Oswego4473
Tompkins3970
Warren36033
Steuben35042
Fulton33224
Otsego3325
Chemung3303
Orleans32354
Herkimer32110
Greene31918
St. Lawrence3184
Genesee3145
Wayne3105
Washington28714
Cattaraugus2546
Chenango2487
Montgomery2274
Tioga22425
Livingston2018
Cayuga1992
Jefferson1630
Essex1600
Cortland1590
Clinton1545
Wyoming1325
Delaware1304
Seneca1053
Allegany981
Schoharie830
Franklin650
Yates627
Lewis500
Schuyler380
Hamilton150
Unassigned016
Utica
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 37°
Oneonta
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 32°
Herkimer
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 37°
Thendara
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 37°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left