Weird Hole-Punch Cloud Today

Since the beginning of flight school I have been a little bit of a weather nerd and so as soon as I saw this weather phenomenon from my backyard today I had to run back inside and get the camera, hopefully you’ll agree that this is one cool cloud.


I initially reached for Jeppesen Aviation Weather by Peter Lester and couldn’t find anything about such a phenomenon although I have since learned, after sharing these images with pilots at Microsoft as well as many that I know from the Civil Air Patrol and USAF, that this is known as a Hole-Punch Cloud.


30 minutes after these pictures we’re taken the phenomenon had disappeared.


Comments (2)
  1. Cliff Mass says:

    .I can tell you exactly what that is.   No…not aliens.  You had an altostratus deck comprised of supercooled liquid water.  A plan probably flew through the deck, causing some of the supercooled water to transition to ice, which helped transition that circular opening to ice crystasl.  They in turn started to fall out of the layer, leaving that hole.  You can tell it is ice by the soft edges.  Called APIPS by some.  Here is an article on them:…/Chemtrails-Aircraft-Induced-Hole-Punch-and-Canal-Clouds-Inadvertent-Cloud-Seeding

  2. Doug Holland says:

    Hey Cliff,

    It’s awesome to see such a weather phenomenon right in your own backyard and given that it disappeared so quickly I'd imagine this is something seldom seen in the world.

    I sent these pictures to pilots @ microsoft, about 350 members of that discussion group, as well as friends in the Civil Air Patrol and USAF and universally the response was "Wow".

    If I had been in Kansas, I might have began running in the opposite direction after taking the picture and would definitely have steered clear in a Cessna for sure.

    Interesting reading your weather blog and I'll have to read your book, The Weather of the Pacific Northwest, and have ordered a copy on Amazon.


    – Doug

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