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Supercell thunderstorm, Texas, USA

Supercell thunderstorm, Texas, USA

C035/4339

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Credit

ROGER HILL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROGER HILL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Supercell thunderstorm over rural Texas, USA. This storm formed just before sunset, produced a near-kilometre-wide tornado in the middle of the night. 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 23 May 2016, in the eastern Texas panhandle region, USA.

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