Wellington Wanderer

Despite bouts of furious rotation, the mesocyclone of the spectacular Wellington supercell only could condense brief funnels and a couple of small but unmistakable tornadoes during its journey across the eastern Panhandle.  This little but lively tornado, seen here from several miles away with aid of a 400-mm zoom lens, buzzed around the broader circulation as part of a merry-go-round of otherwise very wispy and brief funnels, rapidly racing rain curtains, dust, and rotating scud tags.  The tornadic circulation probably was a good deal larger and longer-lived than the visible part, since rising dust and rotating rain continued to intermingle for 510 minutes after the condensation funnel went away.   If it hadn’t been over a road void, this is the sort of wet churn that might have spun up a vortex right on top of some unfortunate thrillseeker trying to punch the mesocyclone.  Its distance from structures and observers was a blessing.

10 ENE Wellington TX (16 May 17) Looking NW
34.8973, -100.0274


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