September 28, 2022

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Horseshoe vortex cloud or horseshoe cloud depicted in the sky - NRK Nordland

Horseshoe vortex cloud or horseshoe cloud depicted in the sky – NRK Nordland

Sebastian Pereira Tymi and Ronny Laukvik were on their way to Heggmotinden outside Bodø, when they sat down to drink coffee and enjoy the view.

Suddenly a horseshoe-shaped cloud appears in the sky. The cloud spins on itself, getting close to spinning across the sky before disappearing two minutes later.

Soon, a new one appeared.

– That’s when we started photographing the cloud, says Tymi.

Laukvik and Tymi on a trip to Heggmotinden.

Photo: Sebastian Pereira Tai

Meteorologist’s new brand

NRK is sending pictures and a film of the cloud to the Meteorological Institute in hopes of getting a quick and simple explanation of the cloud phenomenon.

However, the images left even meteorologists confused.

In fact, responsible meteorologist Marek Ratajzak had never seen or heard of a horseshoe-shaped cloud before.

– I know a lot about rare weather phenomena, especially those that occur in Norway. This was completely new to me, he tells NRK.

horseshoe cloud

The cloud changed a bit along the way.

Photo: Sebastian Pereira Tai

A day later, the meteorologist calls again.

Marek Ratajczak says the images have led to a longer debate among meteorologists. But with several chiefs they were able to come up with an answer in the end.

What the comrades witnessed in Bodo is one of the rarest things you can see in the sky. Horseshoe vortex cloud. Or Histskowski in Norwegian, says Ratajzak.

Several conditions must be met at the right time

For a horseshoe-shaped cloud to appear in the sky, there must be a few conditions at the same time. This makes this phenomenon very rare.

horseshoe cloud

Here, the Horseshoe Cloud is about to disintegrate.

Photo: Sebastian Pereira Tai

The wind, cloudiness and temperature must be correct.

You need a cumulus cloud. These are ordinary clouds that look a bit like a cotton ball. When the sun heats the earth during the day, it gets rising air. This air must be very local, so that it can form a cloud.

When a cloud comes over the rising air, the center of the cloud will rise, while the sides will hang back, says Ratajzak.

In addition, you need a windbreak on top, almost like a hood. Wind shear with rising air helps make the cloud spin.

Only when everything is clicked do you get a recognizable horseshoe shape.

– It’s very elegant. Even we at the Meteorological Institute are learning something new about the weather.

– Incredibly lucky

Sebastian Pereira Tymi and Ronni Lukvik feel lucky to have been exposed to the weather phenomenon.

– very Wonderful. We’re very fortunate that we have so much beautiful nature around Bodo, so the fact that you can also see such a rare cloud is a nice bonus, says Tymi.

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