Observant Texans in Robertson County thought they’d seen it all, until one day, when they spotted huge, perfectly formed white disks floating in the skies above them. In fact, these discs were so precisely formed that some people thought they might be signs of alien life. Meteorologist Shel Winkley from KTBX in Bryan-College Station knows a thing or two about strange white discs in the sky. They’re not flying saucers – they’re a weather phenomenon that’s rarely seen here in Texas called lenticular clouds.
“The mothership is not coming for us just yet as least as far as my forecast can tell you,” Winkley says. “I kind of put it out there to just be sure with some other meteorologist, but the best thing to think they are is lenticular clouds.”
According to Winkley, lenticular clouds themselves are not that rare, and are generally found above topography like mountains or even tall buildings. “The reason this caught folks off guard is because you don’t usually see them, one in East Texas, and two you don’t usually see them just hovering up there without anything underneath it,” he says. “When I first saw [the photos] I said those are Photoshopped, there’s no way they’re real…they’re so precise and they’re in a line.”
Winkley says the recent severe weather is likely the cause of these lenticular clouds.
“When you see the pictures of giant super cells from West Texas or Kansas, it’s kind of like that on a mini level. There’s enough lift in the atmosphere and enough wind pushing upwards for that rotation to form around but these aren’t severe,” Winkley says. “They’re just beautiful clouds to look at.”
How the clouds formed exactly has yet to be determined by meteorologists. “It’s rare when [these clouds] don’t form over the top of things and this is where they mystery is,” he says.
“What’s amazing with these pictures…it’s a testament of what kind of times we live in. Within 24 hours this was across the country… I even had a guy email me and say ‘Hey, heard that you’re one of the first to share this picture, do you mind if I Photoshop UFOs into this picture?’ I was like let’s not scare everybody out there, lets leave these pictures alone.”