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  • Cryptic Sky

  • This scene encapsulates the irony of the supercell.  For all of its striking beauty, it continually threatens grave consequences for those in its path: lightning (including lightning-started fires), severe wind, giant hail, and sometimes tornadoes.  This supercell ultimately would produce all of the above.  Conscientious sto[...]
  • Protection Supercell at Sunset

  • The supercell known as "Protection", after the name of a nearby Kansas town, showed off its knuckle-dragging strength before the sunset hour.  Then the storm  put on a dazzling reflective light and color show, here seen from just over the Oklahoma border. With the solitude of a dirt side road, the accompaniment of moist prai[...]
  • Knuckle Dragger

  • Growing by the minute, by means of multiple, intense updraft thrusts roaring upward from an increasingly moist source layer, this young low-precipitation (LP) supercell drifted eastward parallel to (and just north of) the Oklahoma-Kansas border.  Meanwhile we observed from a pleasant distance, enjoying whole-storm structural[...]
  • Lightning-Lit Left-Mover

  • This fascinating little anticyclonic supercell sped northeastward into the deepening twilight blue, sparking and hailing, twirling laminar skirts of cloud material in a clockwise dance across the remote Palo Duro Canyon country southwest of Goodnight, TX.  A "good night" it was for those of us fortunate enough to behold the [...]
  • Catchin' Rays

  • I had enjoyed a relaxing afternoon from the seat of a camp chair, cold Dr Pepper in hand.   Soon the fish would start biting, but before that, it was time to reel in the last rays of a marvelous day on a quiet southwest Florida beach and enjoy the deepening colors of this sunset event. Sanibel FL (16 Nov 15) Looking WSW [...]
  • Nebraska Prairie Whirl

  • Conditionally dangerous yet ultimately harmless, the visible part of this vortex eased across the sinewy roll of the central Nebraska landscape for nearly 15 minutes, metamorphosing from tentative funnel to elephant-trunk form, this, then a vaporous mimic of dental floss.  The tornado behaved itself, avoided substantial stru[...]
  • Snow Fog and Pumpjack at Sunrise

  • What can be more "Okie Winter" in theme than oil-drilling machinery rising through the morning fog, above a field of snow?  At ten inches of accumulation, this was the heaviest storm total around Norman since the multiple "footers" of the late 1980s, sampled in some of the other imagery here, and made a remarkable scene bene[...]
  • "Breaking Wave" Supercell

  • Among the most spectacular supercells I've ever seen, this dazzling storm cruised eastward across the nocturnal Nebraska sky, bathing itself in almost continuous light from its own furious generation engine for intracloud lightning.  The storm itself took on the shape of an enormous breaking wave, while shear-induced, parall[...]
  • Cranebow

  • Here is but a small glimpse of that sublime moment when, after three days of cold, windy overcast, the line of showers passes east, sunshine breaks out to illuminate the late-afternoon "magic hour", the "American Serengeti" brilliantly erupts with life:   hundreds upon hundreds of sandhill cranes take off into a rainbow-fest[...]
  • Slapout Late

  • Viewing the "Slapout tornado's" surroundings at wide angle reveals an arcus cloud on the right side (NNW of the tornado), which actually was the rear-flank gust front for a large, newer, rain-wrapped mesocyclone forming unseen to our W (off the screen to the right).  The whole scene looks rather "gust-fronty". Indeed, if we [...]
  • Lake Perryton

  • No, this isn't one of those classical arcus-cloud scenes from somewhere around the Rio de la Plata in South America. Instead, it's the high, normally dry Texas Panhandle!  As if a previous day of excessive rains in an already-wet spring weren't enough, yet another thunderstorm loomed with its shelf cloud, ready to drench thi[...]
  • Snow Geese in the Rain

  • During the "magic hour" of late-afternoon light, a small flock of snow geese and countless raindrops, near and far, imparted an oil-painting-like texture to the wondrous scene along the back side of a band of rain.  These and another half million of their closest friends and relatives (geese and cranes) converge annually upo[...]