Alien enthusiasts were excited when they thought a bunch of UFO’s had flown over the Northwest of England, but they were lenticular clouds, a rare phenomenon in the United Kingdom. These types of clouds are more commonly seen in mountainous areas.
They were spotted above the Wirral and Ellesmere Port during the weekend.
Lenticular clouds (Altocumulus lenticularis) are lens-shaped clouds that form in the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere (troposphere), normally in perpendicular alignment to the wind direction.
Dozens of pictures of lenticular clouds were sent The Chester Chronicle’s Facebook page.
Glider pilots actively seek out lenticular clouds because of the rising air, while pilots of powered airplanes tend to avoid flying near them because of the turbulence of the rotor systems.
Dozens of people took pictures during the weekend, and filled several social media sites with images in the north west of the country.
Lenticular clouds are commonly seen above mountain peaks. During sunsets they can look eerily like unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
Lenticular clouds are a fairly common sight around mountains, where moist air – having just passed over nearby mountain top and collected above the summit’s downwind face – cools and condenses into a wide, motionless mass.
Video – Lenticular Clouds
This video shows several lenticular clouds. Many of them were mistaken for UFOs by people on the ground.