The Supercell Thunderstorm

Cell 2

The supercell thunderstorm is one of the main targets for storm chasers, not only is it one of the most amazing spectacles of nature but it is the tornado producer of thunderstorm clouds. Super cell thunderstorms are a thunderstorm cloud with a long lasting rotating updraft, they will often be called twisting storms or rotating thunderstorms. Supercell storms can pose many dangers as they produce extremely large hail, stromg and damaging winds, down bursts and micro bursts, heavy rain, tornadoes and lightning.

There are two types of supercell thunder storms, high precipitation HP and low precipitation LP. A single supercell can go from being a LP storm to being a HP storm in its long life cycle. Supercell storms can happen anywhere with the right weather conditions but nowhere in the world sees more of these storms than in the Great Plains of the United States.

In June 2011 I had my second experience chasing these amazing storms with Tempest Storm Chasing Expeditions. I had always wanted to see an exploding updraft like this at a distance and on this trip I had the perfect chance. We were chasing one storm when another storm to our south east quickly developed into this stunning cloud bursting high into the atmosphere.

This storm was reaching an incredible height of 55,000 feet into the sky, almost twice the height of Mount Everest. It was soon producing large hail and even tornadoes. For me this was one of the highlights of the trip and remains one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. The storm we were chasing was soon turning into an even bigger cell with an amazing sculpted updraft.

We had an amazing storm chasing adventure on this trip with this day being the highlight. I look forward to returning to the great plains in 2012 to search out these incredible storms and maybe even some more tornadoes. Supercell thunderstorms can be incredibly beautiful and terrifying all at once, their size and power is truly awe inspiring, so much so that hundreds of storm chasers flock to the Great Plains each year to see them.

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