Weather patterns differ from one region to another. The tropics experience more weather changes compared to the chilly Arctic regions, for example. For purposes of safety, comfort and preparedness, nations have dedicated a lot of resources and manpower towards meteorological departments specifically concerned with monitoring changes in any weather phenomenon. With the advent of modern prediction instruments and breakthroughs in science and technology, humanity has been able to prevent possible disasters before they happen. This prediction has been crucial in averting disasters triggered by global warming, such as floods, heat waves and tsunamis. We have also altered our life patterns to accommodate the occasional erratic weather changes. However, once in a while, there have been reports of strange occurrences in weather phenomena that have defied scientific and logical explanation. The following are some of these strange occurrences:
This is exactly what the name describes- fish falling from the sky. It occurs one in a year in Honduras, where they have aptly named it Lluvia de Peces. Since the first century when Pliny the Elder saw frogs falling from the sky, there have been many such reports. In the 18th Century, French soldiers also claimed to witness toads falling from the sky. The only logical explanation to the annual occurrence is that as the seasons change, fresh water fish swim downstream to the subterranean waters. When the water recedes, the fish are stranded on land, making it appear like they rained from the sky.
This is a lightning phenomenon that occurs in one place on earth due to the unique combination of natural gases in the area. It happens in Venezuela over the Catatumbo River. The lightning is caused by the collision of cold and warm air currents, triggered by the methane gas emitted by the marshes. The gas fires up the conductivity of the clouds causing a violent and extremely bright bolt of lightning. This happens around 150 times yearly.
Recently some residents of California reported seeing a huge hole in the sky. Immediately, the incident went viral on social media with some people calling it a UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) while some pointed to a looming alien invasion. What these people saw is known as a hole punch cloud or fall-streak hole. When air-planes fly through frozen alto cumulus clouds, they trigger crystallization. The fire-streak cloud is formed when air passing though the plane’s wings or propellers heats and cools rapidly. The hole appearance is caused by crystals forming and dropping below a cloud after a plane passes through it.
Popularized by the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, its flash of green appears behind the sun during sunrise or sunset, when there is less scattering of light rays from the sun. The dense gases in the atmosphere act as a prism causing light to diffuse into many colors. When the light is bent and refracted, it causes a green flash above the sun. This appearance lasts only a few seconds, which is why it is called a flash.
Roll clouds are basically clouds that appear to be rolling across the sky. They normally signify thunderstorms. This phenomenon occurs when air currents drive the warm air on top of the cool air. The change in the speed and direction of the wind causes a rolling effect on the clouds. This formation requires the right combination of moisture and temperature. They are said to look like toppled tornadoes.
Strange weather phenomena has clearly been around for centuries, and it seems we have not seen the end of it. As years go by, we continue to receive even more weird news of events that we previously thought impossible. However, we can always research and find better ways of harnessing such incidents for the greater good of humankind.