Incredible Time-Lapse Footage of a Developing Supercell

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
May 19 2014 2:05 PM

Time-Lapse: Spinning Up a Supercell Over Wyoming

supercell
A mescocylone in a supercell forming in Wyoming.

Photo by Basehunters, from the video

Yesterday, while I was enjoying relatively clear skies in Colorado, just one state north of me the weather was just a tad more dramatic. A group of stormchasers who call themselves Basehunters took a drive from Wright to Newcastle, in northeast Wyoming, and got seriously jaw-dropping footage of a supercell forming right in front of them.

Definitely make that HD and full screen.

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Ye. GADS. That rotating mesocyclone (the rising, spinning vortex of air) is a monster, and made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Watching the footage of it forming and moving toward them, I was thinking “Get the hell out of there!” when suddenly you see the video jump as they drive away.

Phew.

Mesocyclones are not to be trifled with; they can dump torrential rain and hail, and the winds can be fierce. Of course, they can also break the boundaries between dimensions and disgorge the souls of the damned, too.

Tip o' the umbrella to Universe Today.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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