Is This Pic of Supercell Thunderstorm Cloud Real? | Snopes.com


On May 18, 2021, a Facebook page run by meteorology enthusiasts called Great Lakes Weather & Climate shared a stunning photograph of a massive, iridescent storm cloud.

The photograph was taken in west Texas by photographer Laura Rowe and shows a supercell thunderstorm illuminated by the setting sum. Rowe also posted her picture on Twitter:

Rowe said she took the shot on the evening of May 16, 2021, between Earth, Texas, and Littlefield, Texas. “We were between the sunset & the storm, so that cast an amazing light on the storm,” she wrote.

WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss shared Rowe’s picture, praising it as a “real photographic work of art,” alongside another picture of a supercell thunderstorm, also taken in Texas:

Here’s how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes supercells:

Supercells are storms — usually, but not necessarily, thunderstorms — that contain updrafts that rotate about a vertical axis. This rotation is derived from shear in the environmental wind field (that is, a change in wind direction and / or speed with height) surrounding the storm as it begins to grow. Supercells often produce damaging wind, large hail, and tornadoes, and most strong to violent tornadoes are associated with supercells.

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