Sunday, September 30, 2012

Four Supercells, One County / Going Viral

It has definitely been a September to remember and I am extremely grateful to everyone on Facebook for having been patient with my excessive weather related musings. Per the first part of the title, back on the 21st we had a fast moving clipper type low drop through the region which generated some marginally severe weather. Hail was the greatest threat however, wind profiles were such that the SPC went with a 2% tornado risk in their Day 1 outlook which would later be upgraded to 5% closer to initiation. This caught my attention so I made it a point to sleep with one eye open. Early that afternoon as a few cells to the north were ongoing with severe warnings, a small cell lifting out of the SW from near my home appeared healthy so I followed it. Though elevated, it proved to be interesting and would eventually earn a severe warning for hail. At one point I observed an ominous feature per the inset that even after ILX review, remains inconclusive although it could simply be a hail shaft. Aptly named "Supercell I", it was the only local storm to earn an official warning. I would abandon it at nearby Argenta IL only to pick up another to drop in from behind.

Supercell I

Supercell II (still near Argenta IL)

Going linear.

Shedding its outflow reveals new development downstream.

Zoomed in on possible funnel cloud.

Abandoning this cell, I would pause to run an errand for Ava after which I would intercept yet another to drop in from the NW over near Niantic IL making it Supercell III.

Two wall clouds!

The closer one would prevail as the other dissipated.

Losing definition as well as visibility in the heavy rain.

Upon passage, facing E.

Facing SSE, note the tiny rainbow as well as possible shear funnels.

Inbound from the same location, another developing cell and although compact and elevated, Supercell IV would prove to be the storm of the day.

Quick 300mm snap.

Structure! Note the two areas of rotation in the time lapse video below.

Lack of moisture was the mitigating factor for today's "outbreak" potential.

Small funnel concludes the session from entirely within Macon County borders.

Per the second part of the title, "Viral" might not be the correct descriptive for a little fish like myself but in comparison to my usual traffic stats (or lack thereof), the morning shelf from earlier this month received some very generous support last night on the Reed Timmer: Meteorologist and Extreme Storm Chaser Facebook Fan Page. The screenshot with emphasis on the associated like/share figures is from near the time of this post and I am glad that people from around the world have had the chance to experience this unique event for themselves.

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