Rare clouds spotted over New Mexico
June 24, 2019 07:10 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The northern sky above New Mexico began to glow with a beautiful but other-worldly iridescent light Monday morning.
An employee at the National Weather Service captured a picture and said in a Tweet that the clouds were made of tiny ice crystals which caught the sunlight beyond the horizon.
“The sun was below the horizon, illuminating the high noctilucent clouds to the north of Albuquerque and you got to see a wave-like pattern, a banded structure, sometimes there's swirls," said National Weather Service meteorologist David Craft. "There can be a kind of iridescence a rainbow effect to them."
Craft said the sight is incredibly rare in New Mexico.
“Noctilucent clouds are not very common at any latitude but normally when they do appear - they're in the high latitudes near the poles,” Craft said.
Until recently, only people in Alaska or Siberia could see the unusual clouds.
“Researchers have noted that noctilucent clouds are being seen more commonly,” Craft said.
Craft said climate change may be responsible for the clouds becoming more visible.
“It's thought that climate change may have something to do with this as methane increases in the atmosphere,” he said.
We were lucky enough to be treated to a display of noctilucent clouds this morning. These clouds, made up of tiny ice crystals, generally form in high latitudes. They are usually seen during astronomical twilight, when the sun is setting or rising around the North horizon #nmwx pic.twitter.com/y5zcVUZHcW— NWS Albuquerque (@NWSAlbuquerque) June 24, 2019
Updated: June 24, 2019 07:10 PM
Created: June 24, 2019 04:48 PM
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