OK, that's just cool

Check this craziness, high above the skies of Des Moines, Iowa:


This is called an 'undular bore', and it's anything but boring. Now, atmospheric phenomena are not my forte, so I'll turn this over to NASA:

 "Wow, that was a good one!" says atmospheric scientist Tim Coleman of the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville, Alabama. Coleman is an expert in atmospheric wave phenomena and he believes bores are more common and more important than previously thought.

But first, Iowa: "These waves were created by a cluster of thunderstorms approaching Des Moines from the west," he explains. "At the time, a layer of cold, stable air was sitting on top of Des Moines. The approaching storms disturbed this air, creating a ripple akin to what we see when we toss a stone into a pond."

Undular bores are a type of "gravity wave"—so called because gravity acts as the restoring force essential to wave motion. Analogy: "We're all familiar with gravity waves caused by boats in water," points out Coleman. "When a boat goes tearing across a lake, water in front of the boat is pushed upward. Gravity pulls the water back down again and this sets up a wave."

Undular Bores may play a role in severe weather, amplifying tornadoes and triggering thunderstorms. That's too bad, because they also look really neat.