UFO over Turkey? Learn what makes these clouds appear so alien-like
Lenticular clouds like this eerie one spotted over Turkey this week are usually found either draped over or floating near mountain tops and ridges. They're formed when that layer of the atmosphere is just on the cusp of saturation.
BURSA, Turkey -- A UFO? Floating target? Atmospheric dart board?
All three descriptions were apt for an unusual cloud formation that floated over Bursa, Turkey, on Thursday morning.
Twitter user @firuzedr16 captured video of an intricate lenticular cloud as the sun rose.
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Lenticular clouds are usually found either draped over or floating near mountain tops and ridges. They're formed when that layer of the atmosphere is just on the cusp of saturation.
As air flows over mountain tops, the gentle lift provides just enough cooling for the air to reach saturation and form a cloud. As the air sinks again, it becomes warmer and drier, leaving saturation and becoming invisible again.
It may appear the cloud is static, but air is constantly flowing through it. That is demonstrated in this video from a lenticular cloud formation over Washington's Mt. Rainier in 2022.
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These types of clouds can be a signal of precipitation within the next day or so as the atmosphere moistens ahead of the incoming storm. In this case, a weak cold front was approaching western Turkey on Thursday, moving through the area on Friday.