Cloud Shelf: Know the phenomenon that makes the sky look like a tsunami

Unusually shaped cloud images that circulate over the Internet always leave us with the flea behind our ears, after all we never know if they actually portray rare weather phenomena or if they are digitally manipulated photographs. This is more or less what happened to the residents of small Hinesville - a town of 30, 000 in the US state of Georgia.

From nowhere, records began to appear, made of the local sky, of large wave-shaped clouds that resembled tsunamis. The excitement was so great that some people believed it foreshadowed the end of the world. However, as new images of the phenomenon were being shared, it was realized that it was not a scam or armageddon, but rather a real and rather frightening weather event.

a cloud

The phenomenon is long known to meteorologists: it is called a shelf cloud and, in most cases, predates a storm. This type of cloud is usually curved or semicircular and has several horizontally "shelves" - like a shelf - that form when a warmer air layer protrudes over a cooler air layer. Despite its apocalyptic appearance, the event does not produce tornadoes or cyclones, but can cause strong gusts of wind.