Like a 'cloud is falling out of the sky': NASA images show rare 'fallstreak holes' over Florida

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Like a 'cloud is falling out of the sky': NASA images show rare 'fallstreak holes' over Florida

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – NASA's Earth Observatory took note this week of an unusual phenomenon in the skies over South Florida that causes melon bal

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Fallstreak holes seen on satellite imagery over Florida on Jan. 7, 2021.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – NASA’s Earth Observatory took note this week of an unusual phenomenon in the skies over South Florida that causes melon ball-like scoops to form in clouds. 

“Fallstreak holes,” also known as “hole punch clouds,” which were seen Jan. 7 in satellite images from Indiantown through Miami, can punch clear through to show blue sky, or be more opaque, but most often happen when cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds are present. 

Robert Molleda, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami, said his forecasters also noticed the fallstreaks, as did a handful of NWS followers on social media who asked for an explanation of the odd potholes in the sky. 

“It seems to happen a few times a year when there are very high clouds that are thick, or at least covering a large area,” Molleda said. “You need a special set of conditions.” 

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