National Punctuation Day: America's favorite punctuation mark is also a type of cloud

Clouds can take on the shape of a comma

Sept. 24 is National Punctuation Day, and the comma is clearly America's favorite punctuation mark.

Google Trends indicated that commas were the most searched punctuation mark in 33 of the 50 states over the past month. The other 17 states were most frequently searching for either brackets, semicolons, question marks or dashes.

Out of all five of these punctuation marks, commas made up 75% of the searches in North Dakota, the comma's highest search percentage among all states.

But did you know a comma is also a type of cloud?

A "comma cloud" is a relatively common occurrence, though you might not have ever seen one because they aren't visible from the ground.

Comma clouds can only be seen from high altitudes, either by weather satellites orbiting the Earth in space or by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

These clouds are arranged in the shape of a comma (hence their name), so they look like a giant comma when viewed on a satellite image.

A comma cloud is typically associated with a low-pressure system, so if satellite imagery shows one heading your way, there's likely a storm approaching.

Comma clouds range in size from a small thunderstorm to a large low-pressure system. The comma "head" usually lies to the west of the storm's strongest winds.

While heavy rain, snow or even hail can fall near the comma head, a slot of dry air usually trails the west side of the comma "tail."