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Rare wave-shaped clouds hovering over Virginia skyline caught on camera

JULIA JACOBO and MELISSA GRIFFIN
Rare wave-shaped clouds hovering over Virginia skyline caught on camera

Rare wave-shaped clouds hovering over Virginia skyline caught on camera originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

A Virginia resident captured a rare cloud formation hovering over the skyline near her home.

Amy Christie Hunter posted a photo of the wave-shaped clouds to Facebook on Tuesday evening. In the image, they can be seen rolling over Smith Mountain near Roanoke.

PHOTO: Clouds shaped like ocean waves, or Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, were taken near Smith Mountain in Virginia, June 18, 2019. (Amy Christie Hunter/Facebook)

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The formation is known as the Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud, and is named after the scientists who studied the physics behind them.

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PHOTO: Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are seen here in this undated stock photo. (STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images)

The clouds are rare and usually form during windy days when there is a strong vertical shear — meaning the wind is blowing faster at upper levels in the atmosphere compared to the wind at lower levels, causing the clouds to look like rolling waves.

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Weather conditions in the area Tuesday evening included light rain and fog.