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Rare Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud formation spotted over Newbury

'looks like a pod of dolphins'

Geraldine Gardner

Geraldine Gardner


01635 886684

Socially distanced cloud family floats over Newbury

WE'RE loving your cloud pictures and Robbie Calow sent us this unusual formation he spotted over Newbury last week.

Another eagle-eyed spotter took a snap of the same 'cloud family' in Newbury and said 'looks like a pod of dolphins jumping through the sea'.


We've done a bit of research and we think these clouds are known as Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, defined on the Met Office website as : 'An extremely rare phenomenon, where a cloud produces a billowing wave pattern. They occur when there is a strong vertical shear between two air streams, causing winds to blow faster at the upper level than at the lower levels.

'They occur when two different layers of air in our atmosphere are moving at different speeds (a phenomenon known as shear). When the upper layer of air is moving at a higher speed than the lower-level air, it may scoop the top of an existing cloud layer into these wave-like rolling shapes.'

These clouds are named after Hermann von Helmholtz and William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, physicists who studied turbulent airflow. 

Have you taken pictures of unusual clouds? Send them to and let's create a gallery

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