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As we get closer to the dog days of summer, the continental U.S. braves through a brutal heatwave. It might be hard to recall anything other than panting into in air conditioner and shelling out money for extra ice cream. That’s why, as we usher in this new month of July, it’s appropriate we go over some of the most unique weather phenomenons on Earth.
Scientifically named parhelia, colloquially called Sundogs, are concentrated patches of sunlight that sometimes appear next to the sun. While no one can quite say why parhelia are known as Sundogs, everyone agrees that Sundogs are gorgeous and a fun word to say.
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7. Fallstreak hole
Fallstreak holes are also referred to as Skypunches and Cloudholes. They typically appear in Cirrocumulus and Altocumulus clouds, and occur when ice crystals become heavy enough to fall, leaving an eliptical gap in the fluffy Cumulus clouds.
Image by Kate di Stefano
2 of the most famous spots in the U.S. to view these pearly cresents are Yosemite National Park in California and Cumberland Falls in Kentucky. Moonbows are caused by the refraction of moonlight in water droplets, which is why they most frequently occur at sites with waterfalls. They appear faint and milky in color or like a hazy classic rainbow.
Image by Cumberland Gap Region Tourism Association
If you like the cool breeze, humid scent of ozone, and the low rumble of thunder, this one will be your favorite. Supercells are a system of multiple thunderstorms kept together by an rotating updraft, called a Mesocyclone. This is very common in the tornado alley of the US, because they often are accompanied by tornadoes and large hail.
Image by Micheal Umschield Photography
What could possibbly make tornados cooler from a meteorlogical standpoint? Water! Waterspouts are whirling vortexes of air and water that form in large bodies of water. Typically, they are either tornadic or fair weather and the difference lies in whether or not they form upwards or downwards.
Image by Polina Shuvaeva/IStockPhoto
3. Diamond Dust Halo
Diamond dust is phenomena often observed in very cold environments. It is a cloud composed of miniscule ice formation.
Image by Esa Palmi
2. Catatumbo Lightning
Welcome to Venezuela! Come for hallacas and arepas; stay for the lightning! Lake Maraicaibo at the mouth of the Catatumbo River is home to a nearly everpresent storm system that is highly electrified. It occurs up to 160 nights every year and can produce as many as 280 lightning strikes per hour for up to 10 hours.
Image by Orlando Rodriguez
Hopefully you’ll never come into contact with one of these! Simooms are scorching duststorm-like winds that can exceed temperatures of 50 C°. The word Simoom is derived from the arabic word Samum, which means to poison or poison winds. It’s said that these winds can cause heat stroke because of the rapid change in temperature and lack of humidity in the air to combat dehydration.
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