Weather anomalies are a constant source of human fascination. These strange weather phenomena are particularly awe-inspiring because they are so extremely rare. Even if you’re an amateur meteorologist, you probably never even heard of these.
1. Brinicle (brine icicle, or ice stalactite): Brinicles form beneath sea ice when a flow of extremely cold, saline water is introduced to an area of ocean water. It is the undersea equivalent of a hollow stalactite or icicle.
2. Tubular clouds: These uniquely shaped clouds form when certain temperature changes in the clouds occurs along with precipitation, which literally weighs down parts of the cloud formation making these bumps.
4. Catatumbo lightning: This atmospheric phenomenon occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela. When warm and cold fronts meet where the river empties into Lake Maracaibo, it forms just the right conditions for this phenomenon. Nearby marshes emit methane gas, improving the electrical conductivity of the the clouds, which also helps cause these extended lightning strikes which can last 10 hours.
5. Moonbow: Just like normal rainbows, moonbows form when there is mist in the air, but unlike rainbows they occur in the moonlight. When seen in person, moonbows may seem white because the brightness so so low. However, prolonged camera exposure is able to capture these beautiful colors.
6. Gloria: This is another phenomenon that occurs as a result of the diffraction of light in clouds or fog droplets. These occur when a strong light source is behind you and the clouds reflect the light right back at you.
8. Sprites, elves and blue jets: These are shapes and flashes of light that can be seen in the evening or night sky. They are typically blue or red and are the result of electrical discharges in the atmosphere.
9. Waterspouts: A waterspout is an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water. They are non-supercell tornadoes over water, and are typically not as dangerous as regular tornadoes.
11. Morning glory: This rare meteorological phenomenon has been observed around the world, but since it’s such a rare occurrence it is still unknown what causes it. Morning Glories are usually associated with frontal systems crossing central Australia and high pressure in northern Australia.
This just goes to show there are still so many mysteries in this world, just waiting to be understood.