Truly Extraordinary Photo & Timelapse of a Massive Supercell Forming

As evidenced by the recent shows Mother Nature has put on, ’tis the season for violent weather in the Tornado Alley states. Several huge supercells like the one below—seen in Wyoming—have already been spotted and photographed by storm chasers this month:

wyoming-supercell

Incredible supercell forming over northeast Wyoming. Captured by Twitter userĀ @Basehunters. (Via Imgur. Click to see larger size.)

If the photo alone is not awe-inspiring enough for you, you can also check out this timelapse video of the supercell forming on May 18, 2014, as the photographers traveled from Wright to Newcastle, Wyoming:

Earlier this month, yet another supercell was documented via timelapse by Stephen Locke near Climax, Kansas on May 10, 2014:

What exactly is a supercell? According to Wikipedia,

“A supercell is a thunderstorm that is characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft… [The storms] usually produce copious amounts of hail, torrential rainfall, strong winds, and substantial downbursts. Supercells are one of the few types of clouds that typically spawn tornadoes within the mesocyclone, although only 30% or less do so.”

Though storm chasers get criticized for their seemingly foolish behavior in following these potentially dangerous weather systems, you can’t help but be amazed at the incredible footage they produce for those of us who are, shall we say, a bit more cautious.

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