supercell cloud

Supercells, clashing

Two stormy whirling air masses collided over New Mexico, each with their own swirling updraft. The older storm has curved lines running through the clouds while the newer is still roiling with new convection currents. The image was a winner in the Weather Photographer of the Year competition.


Image credit: Camelia Czuchnicki


Supercell thunderstorms are a particular type of thunderstorm characterised by the presence of a deep rotating updraft (or mesocyclone). It is the mesocyclones in these storms that make them able to produce tornadoes and cause other extreme weather events; supercells are often much larger than other types of stormclouds and have been known to produce hail as big as baseballs on some occasions.


Sit back and watch a stationary supercell storm. A storm chaser captured this video of a churning supercell thunderstorm over Kansas last weekend