Strange Weather Phenomena You've Probably Never Heard Of

Posted by on Sunday, February 7, 2016

Weather certainly has the ability to shock and amaze us, storms like blizzards and thunderstorms are an astonishing sight to behold, but have you ever heard of Noctilucent Clouds or a Green Ray? We have compiled a list of strange weather phenomena that you've probably never heard of.

10. Mirage: a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky.

9. Noctilucent Clouds: high clouds that refract light at dusk when the Sun has already set.

8. Aurora Borealis: (also know as the Northern Lights) are the result of electrons colliding with the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere. Protons cause faint and diffuse aurora, usually not easily visible to the human eye.

7. Mammatus Clouds: are most often associated with the anvil cloud and also severe thunderstorms. They often extend from the base of a cumulonimbus, but may also be found under altocumulus, altostratus, stratocumulus, and cirrus clouds, as well as volcanic ash clouds.

6. St Elmo’s Fire: is a weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a corona discharge from a sharp or pointed object in a strong electric field in the atmosphere.

5. Non-aqueous Rain: cases of rains of animals instead of water. This has actually happened. For example in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on July 1, 1903 fish fell from the sky.

4. Virga: virga is an observable streak or shaft of precipitation that falls from a cloud but evaporates or sublimes before reaching the ground.

3. Green Ray: optical phenomena that sometimes occur right after sunset or right before sunrise. When the conditions are right, a green spot is visible above the upper rim of the disk of the sun. 

2. Ball lightning: a rare and little known kind of lightning having the form of a moving globe of light several centimeters across that persists for periods of up to a minute.

1. Sprites, Blue Jets, and Elves: different types of lightning (or electrical discharges) that occur well above the realm of the thunderstorms that we experience in the troposphere (the lowest layer of earth’s atmosphere as it runs as high as about 17 km above earth’s surface).

The Team

© Wx Centre