Low Topped Supercells 5/26/15

This was an interesting day. The dynamics were in place for storms to go into a supercellular mode if they developed, but the overall instability was mitigated a bit by cloudiness in the morning, followed by more cloudiness and approaching showers in the afternoon hours. Despite the limited instability, the atmosphere still put on a show with supercells. These supercells were low topped, and some of them didn’t even contain any lightning.

I watched one small shower which developed to my south, and moved NNE toward my location. I tracked it up through Greenville, MI and all the way north to just south of Lakeview, MI. I abandoned it after I saw that it wasn’t going to get the job done. During the chase though, it did produce quite a few nice scenes. The initial wall cloud was flat on the bottom, but soon, it began bringing in some scud clouds, and an appendage appeared beneath the wall cloud. Many claim this was a funnel cloud, this was not the case, as this cloud mass was not rotating, it just sort of hung there, before dissipating. Still neat to see! Check out the photos of this cell below. It kept recycling it’s meso, but just couldn’t get organized enough to put anything down.

After chasing the first cell, a second cell was heading toward me, but it was heavily wrapped in rain. I could see the mesocyclone, but just barely. I decided that if I was going to see anything in this cell, I would have to drive as close as I could. I chased this storm until I got right next to the rotation couplet on radar velocity. Though the rotation wasn’t extremely impressive, I have to wonder if this may have produced a brief, weak tornado, based on the rotation signature, and what I brought out in the screenshots of the video wrapped in the rain. It was more than likely just some scud, but I shall leave it up to debate. Below you will find the full chase video, along with photos of the 2nd cell. Radar screenshots are included in the second video, as well as enhanced screenshots of the possible tornado. As always, feel free to share!

Chuck Russell

I shoot photos and videos of various different types of events related to weather, nature, motorsports, breaking news, and more and share what I capture with the world at StormyPleasures.com

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