Thursday 25 May 2017

Is it a UFO over Dublin? No, it is just a weird cloud

'Flying saucer' clouds over Dublin
'Flying saucer' clouds over Dublin
Clouds over Talbot Street
Clouds over Talbot Street

David Kearns

True believers could be forgiven for thinking they had found proof of extra-terrestrial life over Dublin as strange UFO-like clouds hover ominously over the capital.

A number of the fluffy flying saucers turned up in the sky over the city centre today as temperatures on the east coast soared into the low 20s.

The weird formations are lenticular clouds, said Met Éireann
The weird formations are lenticular clouds, said Met Éireann

The saucer-shaped 'objects' caused a stir, no doubt in part because seeing something in the sky that is not a giant miserable grey blob is always cause for celebration.

Read More: NASA cuts live feed as "UFOs" spotted leaving earth

But while they might appear to be the vanguard for an Independence Day/V style invasion, sadly there is a much more mundane explanation.

“These saucer-shaped formations are in fact lenticular clouds, which can look quite spectacular,” said a spokesperson for Met Éireann.

“People tend to notice them because they look like UFOs. But they’re perfectly normal and quite common.

The clouds have nothing to do with the warm weather
The clouds have nothing to do with the warm weather

“The clouds form when waves of moist, fast-moving air run into the surface of a mountain.

“The moist air is forced upwards and then cools and condenses on the downward slope, transforming it into a saucer-shape cloud.”

Read More: Get the sunscreen on - Temperatures to hit 25 degrees today and tomorrow

Oddly enough, the formation of lenticular clouds has nothing to do with warm weather said the Met.

“Against a clear sky, they just stick out more I guess so it is likely people just associate weird clouds with hotter weather,” they added.

If any Independent.ie readers have spotted any other weird and wonderful clouds in the skies above Ireland, feel free to send them on to our Twitter and Facebook.

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