Fallstreak Hole Over Australia… and Beer

Fallstreak holes or as I’ve more commonly heard them referred to as, hole punch clouds, are a rare(ish) cloud formation that develops when the
temperature of the water inside a cloud has dropped below freezing but ice crystals haven’t yet formed because of a lack of particles to provide
nucleation sites (supercooled water). Once ice crystals do begin to form, a chain reaction is touched off and through a process called the
Wegener–Bergeron–Findeisen process, liquid water quickly evaporates and ice crystals grow
through vapor deposition causing the formation of a hole in the cloud.

Most of the hole punch clouds I have seen have been in relation to some sort of UFO report, usually claimed to have been caused by a UFO’s exit and
are strikingly circular. The one that popped up in my feed this evening is massive and elliptical. It appeared
about 1:00 PM this afternoon over Gippsland, an area in southern Australia east of Melbourne. All pictures from
ABC source:

Early stages of development

Amazing! Now, you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with beer (aside from … Australia). As I was reading about how these clouds form,
I was instantly reminded of another instance of a supercooled liquid rapidly changing state upon the introduction of nucleating sites — in this case
bubbles in supercooled beer. One of the many videos of “instantly freezing beer” that went viral a couple of years back:


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