What happens when an aircraft flies just above a deck of cloud cover? Well, the turbulence (called turbulent eddies) whirl around behind the aircraft.
When this turbulent flow is right on top of some clouds, it can cause the clouds to gather into a thin line, while separating or eroding the clouds on either side.
The photos we received from viewers in Topeka today show just the look of a cloud disrupted by a passing aircraft. Don't confuse this type of cloud with contrails. Those are actually created by the exhaust of jet aircraft flying through cold portions of the atmosphere leaving a trail of clouds.
The clouds today were already there, but were moved around by the wind created by the motion of the plane. A rare sight indeed!
- Storm Track Chief Meteorologist Matt Miller