Rare horseshoe cloud in United States sends Internet into a frenzy

Ms Chrisy Grimes, a resident of Battle Mountain, had shared a photo of the cloud with the National Weather Service in Elko, Nevada, on Twitter.
Ms Chrisy Grimes, a resident of Battle Mountain, had shared a photo of the cloud with the National Weather Service in Elko, Nevada, on Twitter.PHOTO: TWITTER/NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ELKO

A rare horseshoe-shaped cloud appeared in the skies above a small town in Nevada, United States, last Thursday (March 8), sending Internet users in a frenzy as they discussed what the odd formation could be.

Ms Chrisy Grimes, a resident of Battle Mountain, had shared a photo of the cloud with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Elko, Nevada, on Twitter.

The tweet quickly went viral with several users cheekily suggesting there was alien involvement.

However, NWS cleared the air by delving into a detailed scientific explanation of the rare horseshoe cloud in subsequent tweets.

A horseshoe cloud is formed when a flat cumulus cloud moves over a column of warm, rising air called a thermal, according to the Weather Channel.

The cloud rises faster in the middle as this is where the column is the warmest.

In addition, the different updraft speeds cause the cloud to move in a twisting motion, while stronger winds at higher elevations pull the middle of the cloud up and away faster than at the ends.

Despite NWS' explanations, however, many Twitter users continued with their jokes and memes, as they let their imaginations run wild.

Said one user: "That's literally a UFO exhaust port. Don't lie to me."

Another one posted an edited photo of the cloud appearing as retired American wrestler Hulk Hogan's moustache.

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