I suppose if I truly want to take the weekend off, I’ll have to ditch my smartphone. These photos from the Facebook page of the Panhandle Helicopter Service in Panama City Beach, Florida, have been making the rounds today, erroneously labeled by ABC, MSNBC, and other news outlets as a “tsunami cloud”. Hence my humorous headline. Here’s the pictures in a clickable gallery:
The explanation for this phenomenon is very simple.
Nearly saturated (at almost the dew point) air from a sea breeze is being lifted (Orographic lifting) as it meets the coast and the buildings. The slight cooling from the lifting cools the air to the dew point and clouds form.
A similar phenomenon can be seen on some ocean islands.