CASPER, Wyo. — Anyone in or headed around Casper on Friday morning had an opportunity to see a unique formation in the sky.
The strange, otherworldly cloud hovered over the city, but despite its appearance, there’s a logical explanation, according to the National Weather Service in Riverton.
It’s what’s known as a lenticular cloud.
“Lenticular clouds are formed as winds hit terrain (usually a mountain), which forces the air up and creates a wave downwind of the terrain,” an NWS meteorologist told Oil City News after examining submitted photos. “As the air is forced up into the top of the wave, given the right conditions it can cool and condense into a lenticular cloud such as this one.”
“Those are some great photos,” they added.
An article by the NWS Albuquerque office says lenticular clouds are continually developing and dissipating in the vicinity of the wave’s crest and immediately downwind of the crest, and that’s why it appears stationary even though winds are moving through the entire cloud.
The phenomenon can be seen quite well in this time-lapse video submitted to Oil City News by Eric Judge:
Here are some other photos shared to Oil City News of this morning’s unique sky: