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Woman captures rare cloud formation

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 09:09 01 August 2010

AN extremely rare cloud formation which was photographed in Geldeston has now appeared on two popular weather websites.

The wavy formation, known as the Kelvin-Helmholtz formation, is seldom seen in the world, but Geldeston woman Loraine Loffstadt managed to capture it on camera.

AN extremely rare cloud formation which was photographed in Geldeston has now appeared on two popular weather websites.

The wavy formation, known as the Kelvin-Helmholtz formation, is seldom seen in the world, but Geldeston woman Loraine Loffstadt managed to capture it on camera.

Mrs Loffstadt, who is also the chairperson of Beccles Sea Cadets, was in awe when she saw the clouds from the window of her house in The Street on Wednesday, December 23.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked,” said Mrs Loffstadt. “It's supposed to be only there for seconds but I had time to walk out of my bedroom, walk back and take a photo.”

The photograph was taken out of Mrs Loffstadt's bedroom window, which overlooks marshland and the river Waveney in the direction of The Locks Inn.

She was unaware of the rarity of the formation until she spoke to her eight-year-old grandson Dylan, on a visit to his house in London after Christmas. He had been given a book on clouds as a present, and immediately identified the clouds as a being special.

Mrs Loffstadt sent the photo to the Cloud Appreciation Society and Weatherquest, and both have now put them on their websites.

The Cloud Appreciation Society describe the Kelvin-Helmholtz formation as the “most beautiful and transient of formations” which “may appear over most regions of the world but it only ever does so on the rarest of occasions.”

Jim Bacon, of Weatherquest, explained to Mrs Loffstadt how it was formed. He wrote: “It is an instability wave cloud. What this means is that it is a wave motion set up in the atmosphere.

“The instability part arises from the fact that when two parallel flows of air (one above the other) of different temperature and density are flowing at different speeds, the interface between the two types of air becomes unstable and waves develop along the boundary.”

He also said that Weatherquest may use it as an example to use in lectures.

To see the photo take a look in this week's Beccles and Bungay Journal.

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