Tags archives: supercells

  • Wheat and What Destroys It

  • Every year, hail and thunderstorm winds do millions of dollars in damage to crops across the nation's breadbasket—much of it wheat, and much of it in supercells.  Fortunately for the owners of this field, the dark, messy, heavy-precipitation (HP) supercell shown here slid just a few miles to the west and north, sparing this [...]
  • Spotlit LP on the Great Plains

  • While observing a closer, more precip-dense supercell from its inflow region, another storm of low-precipitation character floated past in the opposite direction that was marvelous in its own way.  Double the fun!  This storm plied the southwesterlies just outside the shadow of its larger neighbor for about half an hour afte[...]
  • Anvil Shadowing Altocumulus

  • A small patch of altocumulus (Ac) is bisected by an anvil shadow from a supercell.  The Ac was moving rapidly from sunlight into shadow, which was SSW-NNE.  Storm observers can use cloud motions at different levels to get a rough idea about the wind shear.  In this case, I could tell there was good shear from the eastward sp[...]
  • Turquoise Core

  • To create this effect in thunderstorms, sunlight refracts through tens of thousands of feet of rain, hail and wet convective cloud mass, filtering out reds and leaving greens and blues.  The green hues preferentially exit areas of heavy precipitation with large drops and hailstones.  Aside from the potentially flooding rainf[...]
  • Between a Mesocyclone and a Tornado

  • The rising dust under this ragged but rapidly rotating wall cloud also was moving around in a closed circulation—just not as visually intensely as the clouds above.   If I had to guess, it was near the margins of the lower EF0 wind threshold of 65-mph three-second gusts, but of course this storm did not have a mobile radar o[...]
  • Tornado without Funnel

  • The supercell already had offered a pleasant dose of high-based scenery two hours before, and a gustnado near a previous mesocyclonic occlusion in the intervening hour.  Although the southeastward-moving storm remained high-based as it approached the Richland/Piedmont area, we surmised that it might have one brief shot at a [...]
  • Gustnado near Mesocyclone

  • Gustnadoes are whirlwinds that form in outflow air, disconnected from the cloud base above.  They are not tornadoes, despite sometimes being misidentified by spotters or misclassified as such in official storm reports.  Occasionally the winds in gustnadoes become strong enough for minor damage, and it probably is not a good [...]
  • Loyal Storm

  • High-based, skeletal and sculpted, this southeastward-translating supercell seemed more fitting over the central High Plains than the red-dirt flatlands of central Oklahoma.  It acted like a Colorado storm transplanted 400 miles southeast.  Fortunately, that meant we only had to drive about 90 miles for something so spectacu[...]
  • Knickerbocker Slobberknocker

  • That title was irresistible to click, wasn't it?  Gotcha!  There is a (stretched) reason behind it, though.  This classic supercell started on the dryline west of San Angelo while we were eating lunch there, then turned ESE past Mertzon.  We headed there for a meet-and-greet session with the storm, and after some reorganizat[...]
  • Beware Storms with Mustaches

  • One of the late, great NWS meteorologist Al Moller's favorite admonitions to storm spotters, chasers, students, and others in rapt audiences was:  "Beware storms with mustaches!"  That folksy wisdom, from a keen scientist and father of storm-spotter training, had strong foundations.  Although this storm was not tornadic, som[...]
  • Updraft Base, Amarillo Hailer

  • After producing baseball-sized hail near Four Way, a couple of wall clouds and even funnels, this marvelous, high-based supercell turned almost due southward across the High Plains of the Panhandle, in a defiantly rightward display of deviant motion.   Here it moved directly over the east side of Amarillo, whose downtown can[...]
  • Rain-Wrapped CG

  • A young supercell, freshly cast off the formative southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, made its way southeastward across the scrublands of eastern New Mexico, with nearly continual rumbles of thunder aloft and an occasional distant boom from cloud-to-ground strokes.  As with this one, most of the CGs were buried i[...]