'Hole'y clouds, Batman! Sea-Tac air traffic causes unique cloud formations over Seattle

A Hole Punch cloud is spotted over Seattle on Dec. 13, 2017 (Photo: Lauri Richards)

SEATTLE -- There were sure some strange sights over West Seattle Wednesday afternoon as eerie, circular clouds were spotted in the skies.

But don't worry, it's just a cloud layer interacting with air traffic -- likely from Sea-Tac Airport.

The clouds are called "hole punch" clouds - or alternatively "fallstreak" clouds. They're caused when you have an airplane either ascent or descend through the stable cloud layer and, as the name implies, punches a hole through the clouds.

According to the National Weather Service, the cloud layer here was made of supercooled water droplets that then froze as planes passed through the cloud layer.

"Once the ice crystals are introduced, the water droplet quickly freeze, grow and start to fall," the Weather Service said. "A hole is left behind, which will start to expand outward as neighboring droplets start to freeze."

Usually we see one, but there's been a few spotted so far this afternoon!

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