If the lights seen on Saturday night in Los Angeles weren’t enough, another brilliant show was seen in the skies above Cape Town, South Africa the next day.

Residents of Cape Town saw brilliant and beautiful cloud formations in the daytime sky on Sunday.

Just like Los Angelenos, some compared what they saw to UFOs.

“There were just these massive UFO type clouds and they became more defined as time passed,” said Monique Jackson.

https://twitter.com/monjackson/status/663386594045505537/photo/1

They are in fact lenticular clouds, according to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam.

Have you seen the alien space craft hovering over the mother city today? Fear not! You are NOT about to be abducted. These are fairly common clouds known as stratocumulus standing lenticularis (or commonly known as Lenticular Clouds).

They form when conditions are just right. Air flows along the surface of the earth and reaches some sort of obstruction like a mountain or valley. Probably in this case, Table Mountain, Signal Hill or even the Overberg Mountains upstream from Cape Town.

The obstruction diverts the flow of the moving air which creates wind “eddies.” When this disrupted air flow has stable moist air within it, a series of large-scale standing waves can develop on the downwind side.

Eventually the temperature at the peak of the wave drops to the dew point allowing for condensation and eventually your star-ship enterprise forms (i.e.-lenticular clouds) Once the moist air flows back down into the back side of the wave, the cloud will evaporate and disappear.

Enjoy South Africa! Wish I was there to see it with you!

The clouds elicited a variety of reactions on social media, with Di Brown for instance comparing them to “a tornado on pause mode.”

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Brent Lindeque
About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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