Unusual, vertical clouds seen over New Jersey, New York

Residents in New Jersey and New York lit up social media on Wednesday after seeing unusual vertical clouds in the sky.

But was it a metrological phenomenon? Or something more interesting, or even sinister.

Turns out, the answer was disappointingly mundane.

"Pics show persistent water vapor plumes emanating from area power plants and refineries this morning, as moist low level air inhibits plume evaporation, and weak lift beneath a mid level cloud layer promotes low cloud formation as the plumes rise," the National Weather Service said in a tweet. 

The plumes of clouds can linger from smokestacks and are fairly common in northern New Jersey, but often dissipate quickly. 

For more, visit FOXWeather.com.