In mid-November, a horseshoe vortex cloud formation was spotted drifting above North Fort Myers, Florida. Tony Greene captured the rare cloud after a bout of unsettled weather, making it a sight to behold for the most observant weather watchers.
This unique cloud won’t produce any rain, but it is considered one of the world’s rarest cloud formations and one of the fastest clouds to disappear. Certain weather conditions must align perfectly for a horseshoe vortex cloud to form.
According to FOX Weather Meteorologist Heather Brinkmann, a horseshoe vortex cloud requires specific ingredients in the atmosphere for its appearance. It is similar to tornado development in that specific conditions in the atmosphere are necessary for the formation of this rare type of cloud.
Not only does a horseshoe cloud need a specific type of shear, which involves a change in wind speed or direction with height, but it also requires a calm wind to maintain its horseshoe appearance. The combination of chaotic wind for formation and calm wind to maintain its shape makes it not only a rare sight but also one of the most elusive cloud formations.