20 Breathtaking Snapshots of Supercell Storms

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Image: Mike Hollingshead

The storm shown here was photographed near Alma, Nebraska. This particular supercell has some heavy precipitation falling in a column at its center. Supercells can be accompanied by a great deal of rain or hail, and high precipitation (HP) supercell storms are sometimes responsible for flooding.


Image: Mike Hollingshead

This kind of formation at the bottom of a supercell is known as a wall cloud. In the photo, the dark wall cloud creates a stark contrast with the bright sunset. According to Hollingshead, a tornado warning accompanied this storm – which appeared in Aberdeen, South Dakota – but the twister didn’t materialize. In the end, all the supercell created was, in Hollingshead’s words, “a cool looking sunset.”

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Image: Mike Hollingshead

Lightning flashes on the right-hand side of this stunning supercell. The storm is so dramatic that it looks like one half of the mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion, or some kind of giant wave surging through the sky. The protruding top of a supercell like this is called the anvil. It’s caused when the updraft meets the lowest reaches of the atmosphere and can’t go any higher. This storm is a continuation of that pictured in the first photo of this article, and it occurred in McCook, Nebraska.

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