The infamous “Brocken Spectre” is something we likely have all seen at some point or another in our lives too. It can seem sort of angelic as if a spirit from above is about to come down to speak with you. Basically, it is a magnified & large shadow of someone cast upon clouds opposite the Sun’s direction.
A person’s head will be surrounded by halo-like rings of colored light, which form an optical phenomenon known as a “glory.” It will form the opposite of the Sun’s direction when similarly-sized water droplets in the clouds refract & backscatter sunlight. In some instances, they can even appear in a misty mountainside, and can even be seen from an airplane.
The Spectre gets its name from the Brocken Peak in the Harz Mountains within Germany. A local legend regarding it led to the name. When seen, it can be pretty amazing to experience. Yet it is clearly among the strangest weather phenomena one can see today.
Threat Level:None Unless You’re Close To The Volcano
Volcanic Lightning might be one of the scariest things one can ever experience. This occurs when an electrical discharge is caused by a volcanic eruption. Fragmented particles will collide with volcanic ash, sometimes even ice. This will generate true static electricity within the plume created by the volcano.
Moist convection & ice formation can also lead to the eruption plume, which also triggers volcanic lightning. They also tend to occur before ice crystals have formed in the ash cloud, differing them from lightning within a normal thunderstorm. We know that this has been a long-term thing in history, with Pliny the Younger writing of the first known instance.
He described an eruption at Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD where he claimed there was a “fitful gleam of torches at intervals obscured by the transient blaze of lightning.” The same mountain erupted in 1858, 1861, 1868, & 1872 and all resulted in sightings of volcanic lightning. They are not alone. Clearly, this deserves to be among the strangest weather phenomena in history.
You would be forgiven for assuming a great plague has arrived when random animals fall from the sky. Yet this is not exactly what happened in Louisiana sometime in 1947. According to the Library of Congress, fish fell from the sky in a Louisiana town, but that’s not all. In 2005, a Serbian city reported thousands of frogs fell from the sky. Yet neither are one-off cases.
In fact, it has been reported that this same situation happened in other cities dating back to Ancient Civilizations. This had us wondering, how could any of this occur? Clearly, it is some of the strangest weather phenomena one could experience. The answer seemed to be pretty easy to figure out. Each time this happened, it was seemingly due to tornadoes or hurricanes.
When tornadoes form over water, such as in the case of the aforementioned waterspout, there are situations when it can pick up nearby animals or those in the water. Yes, this means that Sharknadoes are “technically” possible. Cue the celebrity cameos! Once these tornadoes lose energy and slow down, the giant vortex will let go of anything it trapped. Thus, frogs & fish falling from the sky.
Seeing an Aurora can be one of the most beautiful things one can experience. Yet most people do not know how they actually come about, especially the most notable versions. Everyone knows about the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Yet the same thing exists in the southern section of the world. There, one can see the Aurora Polaris or Polar/Southern Lights.
Mostly, they are only capable of being seen the further north or south one gets to the Arctic or Antarctic. They happen as a result of the magnetosphere being disturbed by the solar wind. Solar wind happens all the time within Space, so any Planet located near a star will likely see them. However, the Earth’s Magnetosphere protects it massively from anything like this.
However, sometimes they are strong enough to alter the trajectories of charged particles in solar wind & magnetospheric plasma. As a result, electrons & protons spew out in the upper atmosphere. The ionization from this gives us our beautifully colored Auroras. Still, they’re clearly among the strangest weather phenomena one can see.
While you may assume that the Aliens have arrived, that is not exactly what you’re seeing here. Lenticular Clouds form in a clearly unique way by sort of taking the form of what we assume a UFO looks like. From films or television, most people assume that a UFO looks like a flying saucer. However, keep in mind that UFO stands for “unidentified flying object.”
Literally, anything we are not aware of flying through the sky is going to be a UFO. Lenticular Clouds obviously do not fly around, but the interesting appearance they possess is certainly cool to see. Although, it is clear that their appearance is among the strangest weather phenomena one can see too.
Lenticular Clouds are stationary and form in the Troposphere, perpendicular to the current wind direction. They actually get their name from what they used to be compared to, “a Lens.” There are three main types: The Altocumulus Standing Lenticular, Stratocumulus Standing Lenticular, & Cirrocumulus Standing Lenticular. Each will vary in altitude.
If you ever venture to South America where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo in the nation of Venezuela, we’d recommend avoiding the peak rainy seasons. Of course, in South America, it is hard to avoid the rain. After all, the most notable rain forest on Earth is located here. Yet they do not ship packages in or out of this place for some reason.
In any case, if you venture to this section of the world….you’ll likely have to deal with up to 260 stormy days per year. October is the peak of the wet season here and that is when you can experience up to 30 lightning flashes every single minute. The storms here can be incredibly extreme. While lightning flashes are one thing, they can touch the ground and destroy things.
In one of the world’s strangest weather phenomena, Catatumbo’s major storms are said to be caused by a combination of mountainous terrain and wind patterns in this area. However, it is truly unknown why this specific area draws in more lightning than any other area. Several theories have been thrown out, but nothing has been proven as of yet.