Rare wave-shaped clouds hovering over Virginia skyline caught on camera

PHOTO: Clouds shaped like ocean waves, or Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, were taken near Smith Mountain in Virginia, June 18, 2019.PlayAmy Christie Hunter/Facebook
WATCH Rare wave-shaped clouds hover over VA skyline

A Virginia resident captured a rare cloud formation hovering over the skyline near her home.

Amy Christie Hunter posted a photo of the wave-shaped clouds to Facebook on Tuesday evening. In the image, they can be seen rolling over Smith Mountain near Roanoke.

PHOTO: Clouds shaped like ocean waves, or Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, were taken near Smith Mountain in Virginia, June 18, 2019. Amy Christie Hunter/Facebook
Clouds shaped like ocean waves, or Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, were taken near Smith Mountain in Virginia, June 18, 2019.

The formation is known as the Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud, and is named after the scientists who studied the physics behind them.

PHOTO: Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are seen here in this undated stock photo. STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are seen here in this undated stock photo.

The clouds are rare and usually form during windy days when there is a strong vertical shear — meaning the wind is blowing faster at upper levels in the atmosphere compared to the wind at lower levels, causing the clouds to look like rolling waves.

Weather conditions in the area Tuesday evening included light rain and fog.