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A large circular or elliptical gap that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds.

Skypunch makes appearance in Ontario, social media erupts

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, October 1, 2015, 3:13 PM - On Thursday afternoon, social media lit up with reports of a strange 'hole' in the sky over southwestern Ontario.

The cloud -- called a 'skypunch' or a fallstreak hole -- could be seen over several communities, including Woodstock, parts of Brantford and London.

"While they can be found worldwide, a skypunch is rather rare and the phenomenon is hard to explain," says Weather Network meteorologist Erin Wenckstern.

"High up in the sky, thin clouds made from supercooled liquid water -- meaning temperatures are below freezing, but cannot freeze in crystals -- are disturbed as an aircraft punches through and cools the surrounding air, eventually forming ice crystals due to a drop in pressure. The ice crystals then cause the surrounding water droplets to evaporate, leaving a distinctive hole in the sky." 

According to witness Chris Vanderheyden, Thursday's cloud formed around 1:15 p.m., over Woodstock, Ont., slowly dissipating over a 30-minute period.


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