Jerry Goedken

Many people in the Des Moines Metro noticed an interesting cloud feature in the skies through mid-day on Thursday. Cloud streets formed off some convection that had been on going in north central Iowa during the morning. Most sightings occurred over Ankeny and Altoona.

Cloud streets are rows of cumulus clouds that form parallel to the wind direction. The technical name is horizontal convective rolls. Rising warm air and sinking cold air lead to the development of the rolls. The sinking cold air occurs on either side of rising warm air leading to clear sky on either side of the line of clouds.

What they look from the ground

What they look like on satellite

Between noon and 2 PM, you’ll notice a small area of clouds moving from northeast to southwest through the Des Moines metro area. These were the cloud streets observed by many as seen on the GOES-16 Satellite.