A gigantic cloud 26,000 feet high turned day into night overLiaoning Province in northeastern China on November 12. Thecloud, which appeared around noon, kept parts of theprovince in total darkness for up to half an hour.

The cloud was accompanied by fierce lightning, but no wind,hail or rain was reported. The phenomenon emerged when twoweather fronts converged, but it was highly unusual becauseit reduced visibility to near zero in the absence ofartificial lighting.

Subsequently, temperatures in the area have plummeted.

This is just one more bizarre weather event in a world thatis now becoming too accustomed to them. A cloud formationthis dense is not a normal phenomenon, and should be viewedwith caution by climate observers. Had the cloud topsreached up to 35,000 feet, a devastating storm would haveresulted.

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