Speed Reads

Weather Wonders

Storm chasers capture unbelievable-looking supercell thunderstorm on camera


No, this one isn't an internet Photoshop hoax: Basehunters, a storm-chasing team from Oklahoma, captured an immense, spectacular supercell thunderstorm forming over northeast Wyoming on Sunday that only looks like a viral fake-out.

Supercell thunderstorms — essentially rotating updrafts that produce a single, spinning thunderstorm — come in several variations, which are capable of spawning everything from tornadoes to large hail and torrential downpours. This storm was most likely a low precipitation supercell, which can produce amazing cloud formations, but rarely forms the type of massive tornadoes like the supercell that destroyed Moore, Oklahoma last May.

In the time-lapse video below, you can see the supercell's highly-organized structure form and spin as a nearly perfect cylinder of clouds above the storm chasers, eventually dissipating as quickly and stealthily as when the thunderstorm first formed. --Mike Barry