Here is something special and very rare.
On Friday evening (March 11, 2016), a few minutes before sunset, a thin band of Kelvin Helmholtz clouds developed above a cumulonimbus anvil and became iridescent for just three minutes before dispersing.
The first three photographs on this page, in which the iridescence is bright, were taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 in intelligent auto mode and x60 zoom magnification.
The distant view – at the bottom of the page – was taken a short while before. The Kelvin Helmholtz cloud band had not yet become colorful.
To see Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds is rare, for them to become iridescent is much rarer and for a swallow to fly past during the fraction of a second when a photograph is taken defies all odds and is almost miraculous!
Bottom line: Iridescent Kelvin Helmholtz clouds – clouds that look like ocean waves – on March 11, 2016 over Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Dr. Peter Lowenstein has contributed many beautiful and fascinating images and stories to EarthSky. Trained as a geochemist, he spent his early years with the Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea, specializing in metals and volcanoes. In 1989, he moved to the Zimbabwe Geological Survey as Chief Economic Geologist and has lived and worked in Zimbabwe ever since. Peter is now retired to Zimbabwe, in a house with a beautiful view in Murambi East, Mutare, where he pursues favorite hobbies including construction of electronic gadgets, listening to music, gardening, surfing the Internet ... and photography.