The Majestic Supercell
Splitter with Overshoot
For all the beauty, wonder and immensity of the Great Plains, and all there is to see on every scale from hundred-mile skies to busy little ant trails, storms like this are, first and foremost, what draw me across their long miles of roadways each spring. This classic supercell exploded along a warm front to our NE while we were beneath a high-based, low-precip (LP) storm on the dryline about 30 miles to its SW. The decision to pursue the warm front storm was ridiculously easy once it started looking like this! This storm was full of convective treasures. It thrust a series of deeply overshooting tops well into the lower stratosphere, this one punching upward as if a giant fist. A close look at lower left reveals a classical updraft-splitting process being completed, with the small, left-most tower and base spinning anticyclonically, and the dominant updraft across the gap to its right rotating cyclonically. "Knuckles" appears under the anvil rollover, above the anticyclonic updraft. This storm never produced a tornado; but for the members of three storm intercept crews tag-teaming across the northwest Kansas plains, this was a sight to remember for a lifetime.
1 SE Norcatur KS (1 Jun 93) Looking NE