WW2010
University of Illinois

WW2010
 
  welcome
 
> online guides
 
  archives
 
  educational cd-rom
 
  current weather
 
  about ww2010
 
  index

Online Guides
 
  introduction
 
> meteorology
 
  remote sensing
 
  reading maps
 
  projects, activities

Meteorology
 
  introduction
 
  air masses, fronts
 
  clouds, precipitation
 
  el nino
 
  forces, winds
 
  hurricanes
 
  hydrologic cycle
 
  light, optics
 
  midlatitude cyclones
 
> severe storms
 
  weather forecasting

Severe Storms
 
  introduction
 
  dangers of t-storms
 
> types of t-storms
 
  tstorm components
 
  tornadoes
 
  modeling

Types of T-storms
 
  storm spectrum
 
  single cell storms
 
  multicell clusters
 
  multicell lines
 
> supercells

Supercells
 
  introduction
 
  on radar
 
  schematic diagrams
 
> features
 
  variations
 
  hp supercells
 
  lp supercells
 
  multicell to supercell
 
  tornadic supercell

Features
 
  overshooting tops
 
  rotating updrafts
 
  multicell to supercell
 
> supercell variations
 
  backlighting

User Interface
 
  graphics
> text

NOTE: We've guessed that you're not using a client that supports colored tables and have tried to compensate. Low graphics mode looks much better on clients that do... we recommend switching to Netscape 3.0 or Microsoft Internet Explorer.
.
Supercell Variations
they come in a variety of shapes and sizes

Supercell storms come in different shapes and sizes, as observed on radar and by the human eye. Some are very prolific rain producers, whereas others are drier than the average supercell.

[Image: supercell variations (42K)]
Photograph by Moller


This is a westward view of a "wet" supercell approaching in the evening light.

[Image: southeastward View of a texas Supercell (48K)]
Photograph by Moller
Hard, cumuliform anvil overhang, a vertical CB edge, and flanking line are all visible in this southeastward view of a supercell storm. Mammatus can be seen on the underside of the North Texas supercell. Golf ball size hail, downbursts, flash flooding, and rotating wall clouds occurred without any known tornadoes.

This slide shows the problem that frequently arises in viewing a tornadic storm to the north -- lack of contrast. The dark precipitation area all too often blends in with wall clouds, tornadoes, etc. However, important clues as to the nature of this particular storm are visible, including the circular, mid-level cloud bands we saw in an earlier storm. These bands suggest rotation, and this storm did produce at least one tornado.

[Image: supercell in poor contrast environment (60K)]
Photograph by Moller


Also note the flat, elongated cloud on the right side of this photo. This is another type of "tail cloud," with the appearance of a beaver's tail. The east-west oriented cloud frequently is seen in the vicinity of the stationary gustfront or "pseudo-warm front," which is northeast of the rotating updraft. The "beaver's tail" usually is at rain-free base level, slightly higher than the tail cloud associated with a wall cloud. Storm chase veterans consider these clues to be strong evidence of a supercell and suggestive of possible tornado formation, although not every tornadic supercell has pronounced mid-level rotating cloud bands and inflowing tail clouds.


Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.