Date
22 May 2017
A photo of a rare, waterfall-like cloud formation in the Kowloon hills captured the imagination of netizens. Photo: Facebook/Kai Yuen Leung
A photo of a rare, waterfall-like cloud formation in the Kowloon hills captured the imagination of netizens. Photo: Facebook/Kai Yuen Leung

It’s a waterfall! It’s a tsunami! No, it’s clouds over Kowloon

Netizens were astonished by a photo on Facebook of clouds descending a ridge of hills in Kowloon like a waterfall.

A man surnamed Leung was lucky enough to capture the natural wonder — a rare sight, according to an expert at the Hong Kong Observatory – using his phonecam Monday morning.

Leung was quoted by Sky Post as saying he took the picture at Lei King Wan, a private housing estate in Sai Wan Ho, at about 7 a.m.

He said he did not think much about it before taking a photo of the scene, but he was quite pleased that he did so.

The long-distance shot shows numerous tall buildings in the foreground, with clouds flowing down the ridge in the background — a dreamlike sight.

Leung said the phenomenon lasted only one or two minutes, and then it was gone.

The photo attracted more than 10,000 likes after it was uploaded onto a Facebook page run by the Hong Kong Landscape Photography Society.

A netizen commented that the clouds looked like a tsunami at first glance.

Observatory scientific officer Tsoi Tze-shun said the waterfall-like clouds are a kind of orographic (mountain-related) clouds, and they emerge only when the wind direction and temperature conspire to create the right conditions.

Tsoi said the photo was taken probably just when a northeasterly wind happened to encounter humid air resulting from heavy rain in Kowloon on Monday morning — the perfect conditions for those clouds to form.

He said the phenomenon is rare and can only be seen during spring and summer.

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TL/AC/FL

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