Earlier this morning, people in and around the Rochelle area were subjected to a rare weather phenomenon. In the screenshot, the bright light shines on what meteorologists call a “roll cloud”. This type of phenomenon is very rare and is typically associated with the outflow of a thunderstorm or occasionally a cold front. In this case, we had a strong cold front pass though the Stateline this morning, hence why we got to experience one.
Roll clouds look a lot like shelf clouds. The only difference is, they are completely detached from the thunderstorm’s cloud base. Appearance wise, they are a tubed shape cloud and can span for miles. Roll clouds appear to be rolling about a horizontal axis because of the shearing effects and horizontal spin provided by the differing air masses in the atmosphere. If you see one, they are beautiful to observe. These clouds are harmless and do not produce tornadoes. Pretty neat huh? This type of cloud is not something you see everyday. Included is a time lapse of this rare phenomenon.