Stunningly strange cloud

This video shows an absolutely stunning cloud formation over Moscow. It was reportedly shot in Moscow's Western District last week. It makes me want to reread the fantastic intro to cloud watching, The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds. From The Telegraph:
Talking to the Daily Mail, a spokesman from Moscow's weather forecasting service said: "Several fronts have been passing through Moscow recently, there was an intrusion of the Arctic air too, the sun was shining from the west - this is how the effect was produced.

"This is purely an optical effect, although it does look impressive," he added.

"If you look closer, you can see sun rays coming through that cloud. Most likely, the sun was setting when the video was being made.

"If you observe clouds regularly, you may see many other astonishing things. Clouds of the same class may look absolutely different in different areas," he said.
"Bizarre 'Independence Day' cloud spotted over Moscow"


  1. Someone could mix in some Half-Life 2 Cidadel footage into that to create some beautiful District 9 style video.

  2. Who knew that the rapture would start in the former USSR? After all those years of being warned against the Godless Communists? How could our US televangelists so mistake where God’s country really is located? What else have they gotten wrong???

  3. Saw something like this in the night sky, 15 or so years ago.

    A “Hole Punch” through the high, thin clouds with the full moon at the centre. A very well-formed circle, like a paraselene.

  4. Definitely not CGI – I saw this cloud myseld in NW Moscow on October 7. You guys have got it right – a classic fallstreak hole in altocumulus clouds, with a cone of falling ice crystals below. Very beautiful sight, the cellphone video doesn’t do it justice.

  5. Reminded me of the movie when supercold stratosphere air comes to the ground and freezes New York. Could be beautiful, but it would scare the S**T out of me and I’d run!

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