Oct 23 2015

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Whirlpool in the sky?

Yesterday evening, around 5:30pm, I saw this cloud formation off to the West:

I’m not sure the picture does it justice. It was one of the most unusual cloud formations I’d ever seen. It was a whirlpool of clouds in the sky, slowly turning counter clockwise. My first thought was that it was some phenomenon from a launch from Vandenberg, but when I see contrails from Vandenberg, they are way off picture to the right (way past the tree at the edge of the picture), so I don’t think it was from that. There were no clouds at all in the vicinity — there were some dark clouds on the horizon to the East, but that was about it.

Looking at the weather map today, it looks like the center of low pressure system may have passed by yesterday afternoon. Could this cloud formation been the “center of the eye” of that system?

If anybody has any answers, I’d love it if you commented. I’ve been a sky watcher my whole life and have never seen anything like this.

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