Londoners were treated to some strange apocalyptic-looking cloud formations hovering above the Houses of Parliament yesterday during Trump’s visit.
Residents brave enough to risk their lives snapped amazing photos of the creepy vortex-like formations.
People asked questions ranging from a measured “huh this is interesting, any cloud experts around to explain what this is?” to “what the hell is this floating over south London?!“.
— sammie (@xxxsammiexxxxx) June 4, 2019
Some even likened them to black holes, and pointed out the coincidental timing of their appearance and a certain state visit.
That cloud formation over London… pic.twitter.com/ozlMGKQi5L
— Debbie – The Snappy Artist (@TheSnappyArtist) June 4, 2019
So what are they?
— Ritch Ames (@RitchAmes) June 4, 2019
“Asperitas is a distinctive, but relatively rare cloud formation that takes the appearance of rippling waves,” according to the Met Office. “These wave-like structures form on the underside of the cloud to make it look like a rough sea surface when viewed from below.“
Any cloud experts around? What the hell is this floating over south London?! pic.twitter.com/oRT2iJkrii
— Alexa Brown (@alexabrown) June 4, 2019
The rippling, undulating effect can best be seen in this time-lapse video:
Nobody is quite sure how these strange clouds form, though their appearance has been associated with the aftermath of thunderstorms.
“One theory does suggest that they are formed when mammatus clouds descend into areas of the sky where wind direction changes with height causing the wave-like movement,” the Met Office said.
Asperitus is a rare formation more commonly seen over the plains of the United States. So it was nice timing that they appeared over London’s tourist hotspots during the visit of the US President.