ROGER HILL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROGER HILL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supercell thunderstorm over rural South Dakota, USA. This summer storm produced large hailstones and a large tornado just before this photograph was taken. A supercell thunderstorm is a severe long-lived storm within which the wind speed and direction changes with height. This produces a strong rotating updraft of warm air, known as a mesocyclone, and a separate downdraft of cold air. Tornadoes may form in the mesocyclone, in which case the storm is classified as a tornadic supercell thunderstorm. The storms also produce torrential rain and hail. Photographed on 17 July 2015, in eastern South Dakota, USA.
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