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PANAMA CITY, FL – A cloud tsunami hit Panama City Beach, causing considerable damage.

Helicopter pilot Mike Schaeffer was wrapping up a tour when he spotted this incredible weather phenomenon along the coast of Panama City Beach, Fl. on Sunday.

As soon as he landed, he alerted Panhandle Helicopter  owner JR Hott of the “cloud form waves,” and together they went up for a better view. They moved quickly knowing that it is only in very specific weather conditions that this beautiful effect occurs.

While the online community has dubbed this a “cloud tsunami,” Hott disagrees with the popular moniker:

I wouldn’t call it a “cloud tsunami.” The term tsunami implies a natural disaster. The event, while it can form quickly, moves gently and slowly. It isn’t something that happens with more than a gentle breeze.

While the images appear non-threatening and peaceful, as an experienced pilot, Hott has been trained to treat all fog and clouds as if they are solid objects. He and Schaeffer were very careful approaching in the air to get a better view. Fortunately, because of the location of the condos, they were able to approach the cloud waves from the side and did not place themselves in the direct path of the fog.

Natalie Jimenez