Mammatus Clouds are incredible to see. When you see them, it can appear as if the world is collapsing on itself or that aliens have come to destroy us all. They are not exactly common to see but they are not uncommon either. They are actually not technically clouds. The Mammatus part of it is actually hanging underneath the base of the cloud itself.
This makes them a secondary or supplemental part of the cloud rather than a version of clouds. Most of the time, they come along with cumulonimbus rainclouds. These are clouds that form from water vapor that will be carried by powerful upward air currents. They tend to turn into what would be a common storm-carrying cloud.
It could be a tornado or merely a cold front squall line that it carries. Most of the time, the mammatus forms when cold air sinks down to form pockets that work opposite from puffs of clouds, which are rising through the form of warm air. The cold and warm air mix to give us something that is among the strangest weather phenomena in the world.
Sun Dogs have likely been something we have all seen at one time or another in our life. In fact, they can be incredibly common for people who wear glasses or those who operate cameras regularly. Some tend to call them lens flares when they appear on-screen, but they are not the same thing honestly. Although, it can be easy to confuse the two.
A Lens Flare happens when a bit of light comes through glass and sort of takes over the lens. It usually only occurs for a few seconds, but a Sun Dog can form a halo appearance. In fact, the Halo is actually estimated to be around 22 degrees. They are caused by the refraction of sunlight via ice crystals in the atmosphere.
They tend to appear in pairs of essentially subtle color patches in Halo patterns. Sun Dogs can be seen at the left or right of the Sun too. They’ll even appear at the same altitude above the horizon of the Sun. Some are brighter or more obvious than others, but the strength tends to be dictated by how close the Sun is to the horizon. They make for some of the world’s strangest weather phenomena for sure.
While it is known to be a naturally-occurring phenomenon, it is still one of the world’s strangest weather phenomena you can experience. The Midnight Sun is exactly as one might assume, a situation in which our Sun is able to be seen at the Midnight Hour. The only people who experience this are those located in the Arctic or near the Arctic territories.
You can see it happen in the Summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or even south of the Antarctic Circle. When you see it located in the Arctic, the Sun seemingly appears to move from left to right. This will differ in Antarctica, where the Sun moves from right to left.
That is the only major difference between the two, yet it is clear that they are the only places that can experience such a thing. Places like Alaska might have 6 months of daylight or nighttime. However, they still see the Sun drop enough during their daylight months. The Arctic areas do not experience this and will see the Sun stay up constantly in the summer months.
Fire Rainbows are not exactly rainbows of fire like some might assume. In fact, it is really uncertain why they are still referred to as “fire rainbows” honestly. Today, meteorologists will call this a “Circumhorizontal Arc.” They are actually Ice Halos formed by the refraction of Sun or Moonlight in specifically plate-shaped ice crystals.
The latter must be suspended in the atmosphere, usually within cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. When it is in its full arc, you’ll see a large, bright, spectrum-colored band. Red will be the top color in this, and all will run parallel to the horizon well below the Sun or Moon in the sky.
These differ heavily from 22-degree halos like Sun Dogs as the distance between the arc and Sun or Moon is twice as far. If the halo-forming clouds are smaller or even patchy, the impressive coloring won’t be present. Overall, the entire thing is actually one big optical illusion. Thereby putting them among the world’s strangest weather phenomena.
Orange Snow is incredibly rare, but when we refer to it…we are not discussing sectors where sand mixed with snowfall to create a sort of orange coloring. Rather, we’re discussing the snowfall itself being orange. Likely the most significant time this happened was in Siberia from late January to February of 2007. Around 27,000 people were exposed to Orange Snow.
The reasoning for it seems to be two-fold. Some like to push the idea that it is formed with sand in a snowfall and sandstorm mix. This is less likely compared to the reason most people buy into, that it was caused by over-pollution put into the air by the Siberian neighboring nation of Kazakhstan. This snow was said to be oily to the touch and contained up to 4 times the normal level of iron.
Although most of the snow was orange, some of it was red or yellow. It was claimed that the snow was non-toxic, yet residents were told to not use (drink or eat) the snow nor let animals feed on it. Yet it was “non-toxic” right? Orange Snow is still among the strangest weather phenomena. Yet it’s not unheard of to see colored snowfall in or around Russia. Black, Blue, Green, and even Red have been seen in the past.
Threat Level:Potentially Deadly For Some Pirates/Sailors
You may have heard stories about pirates and even sailors seeing what some describe as a beautiful green light on the sea. Usually noticed off in the distance, this light has led many people astray over the years. Sometimes it resulted in ships crashing at times too. If you do see it, the green light tends to appear around the Sun as it is rising or setting.
Apparently, the people who tend to see it are those who look at the sun through greater and greater thickness within the atmosphere as it moves lower or higher into the sky. Water vapor in the Earth’s atmosphere actually absorbs yellow and orange colors in the white sunlight. Meanwhile, air molecules will burst out and move around violet light.
That results in twoish remaining lights being visible, red and blue-green. When our Sun nears the horizon, the light will be bent so much it’ll appear as two discs, each possessing one of the aforementioned colors. Red is always closest to the horizon, leaving blue-green to be visible, with green being the dominant coloring. It can be among the strangest weather phenomena to experience.
To say that there is a song to go along with some of the strangest weather phenomena is odd. However, when it comes to this situation….we’re not far off. While uncommon, balls of lightning have come down from the sky. Well, more accurately, balls of lightning have appeared out of nowhere.
It is true that many people have witnessed seeing balls of lightning, with some hitting right in front of people. There are even stories of them hitting people and affecting them similar to being electrocuted. While they can happen all over the world, around a reported ten percent of the U.S. population has reportedly witnessed them.
They tend to be free-floating balls that are red, orange, or yellow in color. They actually form when they are around a mile to even several yards above the ground. The balls of lightning will then hit, lighting stuff on fire and injuring some people. They even tend to leave behind the smell of sulfur. While related to thunderstorms, it is unknown what causes them to form.
While some will see this as a sign of the apocalypse or some sort of signal of God’s rage, Blood Rain is not exactly connected to anything like this. We’ve seen Blood Rain referred to in numerous literary works such as Homer’s Iliad and several books relating it to the Occult. Mostly, it is considered a “bad omen” with something bad happening during or after the rain.
This was a situation in which people thought for many years that red rain was actually blood coming down from the sky. We began to examine this type of rain further beginning in the 17th Century, with more attempts ramping up in the 19th. Some thought red dust gave the water this color, while others assumed micro-organisms had a role.
When studies were done, everyone kept coming back to one thing that seemed to show up in all red rain collected. They found Trentepohlia Annulata, which are aerial spores of green microalgae. Similar algae are said to also be the cause of the “blood water” from the Bible’s Old Testament too.
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.