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Holes punched in clouds are a phenomenon that has been recognized for many years and seen in photos from around the world. A front-page feature on Yahoo! carried the headline "A Halo over Moscow" after photos emerged of just such a hole in October 2009.
Hole-punched clouds and accidental cloud seeding may be more common in regions such as the Pacific Northwest and western Europe where cloud layers with supercooled droplets are more common, Heymsfield said.