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Rare “waves” of clouds spotted over Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia

Posted: 1:30 PM, Jun 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-20 15:30:42-04

A photo showing what appears to be tsunami waves coming towards the photographer actually shows a rare formation of clouds over Smith Mountain Lake in southwest Virginia.

Kelven Helmholtz
Kelven Helmholtz phenomena as seen at Smith Mountain Lake in southwest Virginia. (Amy Christie Hunter)

Amy Christie Hunter shared the now viral photo on her Facebook profile this week. The rare Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves appear as tips on waves, in this case very well defined.

The National Weather Service describes the phenomena as “vertical waves in the air associated with wind shear across statically-stable regions.”