We’ve had some pretty cool towering thunderstorm clouds build up recently in parts of the TV-9 viewing area, but nothing compared to some freakish supercell clouds captured in recent weeks over the Plains.
Check out this one below from near Loma, Montana on June 4th. It was captured on film by Roger Hill, a professional storm chaser.
Here is another shot of that storm when it was producing a tornado.
Back on May 21st, 2012 near Adrian, Texas another “mothership” cloud was spotted by Chris Gullikson with Tempest Tours. The corkscrew appearing cloud below is quite the sight.
As if that weren’t enough, mother nature treated some to another fantastic looking supercell cloud near Vega, Texas. The photo below is courtesy of Weather-Photos.NET.
These special supercell clouds are rotating columns with strong updrats going right up through the middle of the corkscrew. Often times tornadoes form in an area of the spiral where a cool downdraft punches into it and tightens the circulation. Not all supercell storms produce such visually stunning structures. Some high precipitation supercells are obscured in sheets of rain and hail and heavy hazy clouds that make it hard to pick out individual swirls. The “mothership” corkscrew clouds are usually seen in the western Plains where the air is typically drier and clouds bases perhaps a bit higher as well.
I want to thank my son, Douglas Schumacher, who helped gather the information for this blog post.