A seascape in the sky.
WCCO-TV viewer Theresa Lucas captured these incredible clouds today while driving in north-central Minnesota toward Bemidji.
Did anyone else in the Northland take a picture of these roiling clouds? pic.twitter.com/WqUEMhwItd
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) June 18, 2022
We've seen some incredible storm clouds, but nothing quite like this. Theresa Lucas was driving toward the town of Bemidji in Minnesota when she snapped a photo to show her daughter how far away she was. Little could she have known that her quick picture would cause a sensation. That's because she didn't just record her location, but also some incredible storm clouds that create a mind-bending illusion.
The dramatic storm system actually looks like ocean waves crashing down into the sky. In fact, when first scrolling down, you may think that you are looking at a photo of the ocean, only to discover that there is a highway below. So what type of clouds are we looking at? It appears that they are a cloud formation called asperitus, which was actually only recognized by the World Meteorological Organization in 2017.
According to the International Cloud Atlas, asperitus clouds are “well-defined, wave-like structures in the underside of the cloud; more chaotic and with less horizontal organization than the variety undulatus. Asperitas is characterized by localized waves in the cloud base, either smooth or dappled with smaller features, sometimes descending into sharp points, as if viewing a roughened sea surface from below. Varying levels of illumination and thickness of the cloud can lead to dramatic visual effects.”
The photograph gained traction online when it was posted by local television station WCCO-TV on both Facebook and Twitter, where people couldn't stop commenting about what they were seeing.
Perhaps, best of all, the photograph got everyone talking about how beautiful the sky is in Minnesota. People began posting their own cloud photos from the area, showing how they can appear as mountains, valleys, and much more. For Lucas, all the attention has been a pleasant surprise. What started out as a way to tell her daughter when she'd been home has turned into much more. She's now entered the image into the Minnesota State Fair, where hopefully it will get the prize that it deserves.
Theresa Lucas was driving in Minnesota when she happened to take a photo of an incredible cloud formation.
Some people couldn't get over how much the clouds looked like waves crashing down.
That is just CRAZY ! ! !
It looks like the road is just headed straight into the ocean !
That is a really COOL PICTURE !
— jacqueline wieser (@jackiewieser13) June 19, 2022
This is such a crazy photo. When I was scrolling on my phone, I only saw the top half and thought it was Lake Superior.
— Jennifer Zeller (@ZellerZelle18) June 19, 2022
I literally can’t unsee the ocean tempest
— Starz of the North (@starzofthenorth) June 19, 2022
Others shared their own incredible photos of Minnestoa's cloud formations.
In nisswa pic.twitter.com/r06DzpRNAp
— Diezel (@Diezel773388) June 19, 2022
30 miles from bemidji pic.twitter.com/8DUop314oX
— rebeccajohnson (@beckybela) June 19, 2022
Bay Lake pic.twitter.com/5QxCCYXwQm
— Erika Perrault (@erikaperrault) June 19, 2022
— Jim Ivey (@stpauljim) June 19, 2022
Stormy Clouds Roll Like Ocean Waves Across the Sky
The Hair-Raising Art of Chasing Supercell Storm Clouds
Photographer Captures Storm Cloud That Looks Like a Fiery Explosion in the Sky
Photos Capture Billowing Beauty of Shape-Shifting Storm Clouds That Look Like Paintings