Explaining These Strange Wave Clouds

Yesterday, Cape May County was hit hard with some crazy storms. From 5 pm until the early evening the Wildwoods were hit with a large thunder and lighting storm cell.

This cell created heavy winds, dropped a decent amount of rain, and small amounts of flooding.

One of the coolest things the storm had brought was some very unique-looking clouds.

The one cloud we are talking about in particular is the one captured by Teri OBrien Sweeney, Mary Whitlock O’Connell, and others online.

The clouds were in the shape of a wave. This is an uncommon cloud for our area and so we figured we would explain what they were.

These are what you call Helmholtz Waves or Kelvin–Helmholtz instability. They appear when clouds encounter a vertical wind shear or a change in the direction and speed of winds on different layers of the cloud.

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