Storm chaser photographed this bizarre and rare cloud shape

Storm chaser Stan Dorroh snapped the astounding photograph below of a bizarre and rare cloud that formed over Starkville, Mississippi on February 21. It vanished a minute later, Dorroh says. According to a National Weather Service description, the very uncommon phenomenon begins with a flat cumulus cloud that encounters a warm weather updraft below: "As the updraft pushes flattish cumulus clouds up & a horizontal vortex develops from differential updraft speeds… As the vortex climbs, it's caught in the faster horizontal winds aloft, & the middle part of the vortex catches the faster speeds with the ends being slower."

According to the North Mississippi Stormchasers, "This has nothing to do with missiles, UFOs, and balloons." Of course that's what They want us to think.

(via The Charlotte Observer)

illustrative image: Barry Barnes/Shutterstock