©Cat Sidh. Creative Commons
Hole Punch Clouds

Yesterday afternoon, the citizens of Elmira, NY received a treat as they looked up to the sky. The phenomenon is referred to as 'Hole Punch Clouds'. It is caused by an area of cold air that sinks through a layer of clouds.

Those that saw the cloud formation around 4 p.m. on Elmira's Southside, took pictures and sent them to WETM.

Hole punch clouds are nothing new, but most people are unaware of them. If you search the Internet, you find dozens of photos of these cloud formations from around the world.

Other causes of these cloud formations include jet contrails freezing and sinking into a layer of clouds, or precipitation aloft evaporating as it falls into the clouds and cooling the area around the clouds. As for what caused the one seen yesterday, it is uncertain.