Day 6 – Supercells and sunsets

We continued to drive towards to the storm that had created the tornado earlier in the afternoon. It still had a strong rotation which created a super cell with a beautiful round shape with different layers. We drover in underneath the base hoping for more tornadoes but the supply had run out, I guess 🙂

Instead, we once again experienced the tremendous feeling of being under a super cell with a wall cloud underneath eating its way over the fields. The sun was about to set, which painted the sky in dozens of lovely colors. When the sun went down the dying storm played out a lightning spectacle I have never seen the likes of before. When you have seen what nature can do during the day and then hear the storm clouds rumble and flash, you feel very, very small.

We called it a day around 10 p.m. and began to move towards the hotel and something to eat, having the twin super cells next to us. They moved diagonally along our route, towards the highway we drove on and continued to throw out amazing lightning that lit up the whole sky. It was probably 2-3 flashes per second! This accompanied to the radio in the dark announcing: “We have a tornado warning. Go down to your basements. Go down to your basements. This is a very dangerous storm. This is a very dangerous storm. etc. etc.”. Quite dramatic!

The day ended at a restaurant that, a few minutes before, had been in the way of super-cells but was left undamaged. We ate dinner with the whole group of researchers,  TV people, etc.

What a day!!

stacked pancakes storm
Supercell with the stacked pancakes-shape. “I know, let’s go in underneath it!”
shelf cloud
A little closer, the shelf cloud underneath looks amazing.
shelf cloud
Here we are just at the edge of the cloud. The shelf cloud (dark gray) looks like something from a disaster movie.
perfect shadow
The cloud is so well defined that you see a completely straight shadow from the sun.
90 degree angle on cloud
Looking the other way you can see the second super-cell that is as finely rounded and very, very well defined. The wall cloud underneath is barely visible.
mmaturs clouds
The sun begins to go down and creates long shadows of the mammatus clouds.
A magnificent sight.
I took about 50 pictures of lightning at this stop. This was the only one I caught 🙂 At this point it flashed only about every 10 seconds so it was a bit difficult.
post storm discussions
We came back to a local restaurant and watched the weather news. The feeling was very much like when you have been to a football game with your favorite team and seen them win. Then you come home, watching the sports news to see the goals and everything else from all other angles, and discuss each others’ perceptions of today’s event.
hail used as ice in drinks
Huge hail. The storm chasers used them as ice for their drinks!

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