Retreating Outflow

Even though this shelf cloud was shooting away from the storm in my direction, it was moving away from me. This unusual condition was made possible by the extremely strong environmental wind fields on this day, which contributed to storm motions of 50-60 mph. Cold downdraft air wasn’t shooting out from the storm quite so fast; therefore, the net effect was that the gust front and this visible arcus cloud, despite traveling away from the storm as usual, moved past then retreated farther from my position too! This was the second time in two years I got to experience such a situation, the other being under a Sandhills storm sky in Nebraska when both storm motion and outflow speed were smaller. In each case, it was a bonus to witness the remarkable atmospheric accomplishment unfolding across such picturesque prairie landscapes.

6 NE Niles KS (5 Jun 8) looking WSW
29.0304, -97.381

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