Fallstreak clouds: Rare cloud formation over British Columbia

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SPOKANE, Wash.- It’s a beautiful phenomenon that’s gracing skies near the West Coast.

They’re called fallstreaks or punch hole clouds, and they were spotted Monday morning over southern British Columbia.

A fallstreak hole is a circular gap seen in cirrocumulus and altocumulus clouds. They form when a plane passing through a cloud layer, where water droplets have yet to freeze. As the water drops freeze, they fall and leave a hole behind.

This National Weather Service radar loop shows the well-defined fallstreak cloud over Kelowna, British Columbia:

The rare clouds were seen found on Feb. 18 in eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.